What to watch: best theatre to see this week

We round up this week’s hottest openings from across the UK

Hamnet, Confidence and Peter Pan
Hamnet, Confidence and Peter Pan
© Top right: Helen Murray, bottom right: Johan Persson

It's very much a varied plethora of openings this week, with youthful escapism in Confidence at Southwark Playhouse, soaring magic in the revival of Peter Pan at Regent's Park and an office-based war of personalities over at the Menier with The Grönholm Method. Ahead of its run at London's Coliseum, Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate also kickstarts its UK tour.

Tanya Burr and Rhys Yates rehearse Confidence
Tanya Burr and Rhys Yates rehearse Confidence
© Helen Murray

5. Confidence

Southwark Playhouse, until 16 June

Online star Tanya Burr makes her professional stage debut in the 20th-anniversary revival of Judy Upton's Confidence, a '90s coming of age tale set on a sleepy English coastline. Produced by Boundless, who are on a mission to bring new audiences (particularly young people) into the theatre, the piece is directed by Rob Drummer and plays at the Southwark's small space. Oh, and did you spot the life-size picture of Liam Gallagher in the rehearsal room? Guess you'll have to go to find out why that's there…

See Confidence in rehearsals

Hamnet at the Southbank Centre
Hamnet at the Southbank Centre
© Dead Centre

4. Hamnet

Southbank Centre, 26 to 28 May

The story of William Shakespeare's son is a tragic one – dying aged 11 while his father was on a lengthy absence in London (effectively abandoning his family) – some literary historians see the Bard's loss as a pivotal turning point in his writing career. From the makers of the Fringe First and OBIE Award-winners Dead Centre, this new show about youth and perspective aims to examine Hamnet's life and how it interacts with the most famous play that the boy's name was lent to.

Read the Southbank's full 2018 season

Laura Pitt-Pulford (Melanie), Greg McHugh (Carl), John Gordon Sinclair (Rick) and Jonathan Cake (Frank)
Laura Pitt-Pulford (Melanie), Greg McHugh (Carl), John Gordon Sinclair (Rick) and Jonathan Cake (Frank)
© Manuel Harlan

3. The Grönholm Method

Menier Chocolate Factory, until 7 July

Fans of Mad Men and The Apprentice will be sure to love this UK premiere of Jordi Galceran's office-based drama, translated by Anne García-Romero and Mark St Germain. A cast of four including Laura Pitt-Pulford go head-to-head as a bunch of candidates competing for a job in a high-flying Fortune 500 company in New York. The production has so far been seen in over 60 countries, so it seems only right that it's arrived in the UK.

Have a first look at The Grönholm Method

Sam Angell (Peter) in rehearsals
Sam Angell (Peter) in rehearsals
© Johan Persson

2. Peter Pan

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, until 15 June

The 2015 Olivier Award-nominated production of JM Barrie's never-ageing boy returns to soar across the leafy canopy of Regent's Park as the Open Air Theatre kicks off its 2018 season. Set during the First World War, the show looks like a vivid and epic reimagining of the classic piece. With As You Like It, The Turn of the Screw and a drag-infused Little Shop of Horrors to follow, the al-fresco venue looks set to have another bumper year.

Read set designer Jon Bausor's exploration of the set of Peter Pan

Kiss Me, Kate in rehearsals
Kiss Me, Kate in rehearsals
© Tom Arber

1. Kiss Me, Kate

Leeds Grand, until 26 May then touring

It's time to Brush Up Your Shakespeare, as Cole Porter's classic musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate returns in a new revival courtesy of Opera North. Beginning a UK tour at the Leeds Grand (because it's too darn hot to only perform in one city!) ahead of runs in Edinburgh, Ravenna (in Italy!) and at London's huge Coliseum, the production of the classic musical (based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew) has a crack cast including Zoe Rainey (An American in Paris).

See Zoe Rainey's favourite showtunes

Last chance to see: Nightfall (Bridge Theatre), Nine Night (National Theatre), The Best Man (Playhouse Theatre), The Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse), The Writer (Almeida Theatre)