London Theatre News - October 2016

Damian Lewis to star in Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? opens 5 April 2017

Ian Rickson's revival of Edward Albee's darkly comic play The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? opens at the Haymarket Theatre on Wednesday 5 April 2017, following previews from Friday 24 March.
Subtitled "Notes toward a definition of tragedy", The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? questions the boundaries of love when, in the same week as receiving an international prize, being awarded a lucrative contract and celebrating his 50th Birthday, Martin is forced to confess a secret to his wife and son. This production stars Damian Lewis as 'Martin'.
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? will play a limited season up to Saturday 24 June 2017.

Mr Popper's Penguins from 15 to 31 December 2016

The new children's show Mr Popper’s Penguins will play a special Christmas holiday season at the Criterion Theatre from Thursday 15 through to Saturday 31 December 2016.
Based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater. Painter and decorator by day, Mr Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep, out of which waddles a penguin!
With songs, puppets and a family of performing puppet penguins, Mr Popper's Penguins will play special daytime performances at the Criterion Theatre, while the theatre's current occupants - The Comedy About A Bank Robbery - continues to play during the evenings.

Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith in The Dresser: "a theatrical treat"

Sean Foley's revival of Ronald Harwood's back stage drama The Dresser opened at London's Duke of York's Theatre on Wednesday 12 October 2016.
In a war-torn provincial theatre an ageing actor-manager, 'Sir', is struggling to keep a grip on his sanity... but the show must go on and ensuring that it does is his dresser, Norman.
The cast features Ken Stott as 'Sir' and Reece Shearsmith as 'Norman and when this production opened Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph thought that "Ken Stott, such a masterful actor, never found wanting, is magnificent as Sir, but the revelation is Reece Shearsmith as Norman... A treat," and Ann Treneman in the Times wrote that "it is a theatrical treat in so many ways, what with Ken Stott's Sir playing Lear. The set, by Michael Taylor, is ingenious. It is Reece Shearsmith who wins our hearts though."
The Dresser continues up to Saturday 14 January 2017.

Dirty Dancing returns from 6 to 31 December 2016

The stage musical version of Dirty Dancing returns to London's West End for a third time this Christmas when it plays at the Phoenix Theatre from Tuesday 6 through to Saturday 31 December 2016.
It was just another summer vacation... but it turned out to be the time of her life. Kellerman's Holiday Resert in Catskill, New York during the summer of 1963 and centres around the relationship between daddy's girl, Frances 'Baby' Houseman, and a talented, intense and handsome dance instructor, Johnny Castle. Summer of 1963 is endless with everyone having 'the times of their lives' and true love teaching the world the healing power of dance.
Originally seen at the Aldwych Theatre from October 2006 through to July 2011, the production returned to London playing at the Piccadilly Theatre from July 2013 to February 2014 - now this hit musical returns for a strictly limited run of just 30 performances this December at the Phoenix Theatre.

Daniel Radcliffe in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead opens 7 March 2017

David Leveaux's 50th Anniversary revival of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead opens at the Old Vic Theatre on Tuesday 7 March 2017, following public previews from Saturday 25 February.
Tom Stoppard's classically inventive play retells Shakespeare's Hamlet through the eyes of two of its minor characters. Vaguely conscious that they are bit parts in a much bigger story of which they have no direct knowledge, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hilariously and poignantly inhabit a world completely beyond their grasp.
The cast features Daniel Radcliffe as 'Rosencrantz' and Joshua McGuire as 'Guildenstern' and is directed by David Leveaux.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead will play for an eight week season up to Saturday 28 April 2017.

World Premiere of Conor McPherson's Girl From the North Country runs 12 July to 7 Oct 2017

The World Premiere production of Conor McPherson's new play - which he also directs - Girl From the North Country will run at the Old Vic Theatre from Wednesday 12 July through to Saturday 7 October 2017.
Featuring classic songs by Bob Dylan, the play is set in Duluth, Minnesota in the midst of the Great Depression. A family adrift, their future on a knife edge. Lost and lonely people drifting through rooms of their guesthouse. But Nick Laine thinks he's seen a way out...

Lisa Dawn "a phenomenal performer" in No's Knife

Joe Murph's stage presentation of the World Stage Premiere of Samuel Beckett's monologue No's Knife - featuring Lisa Dawn - opened at the Old Vic Theatre on Monday 3 October 2016.
No's Knife is a stage adaptation of 13 prose pieces by Samuel Beckett's 13 prose pieces written under the title Texts for Nothing.
When this production opened Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard though it was ""an enigmatic and demanding seventy minutes," and Dominic Maxwell in the Times highlighted that "Lisa Dwan once again proving herself a phenomenal performer."
No's Knife continues up to Saturday 15 October 2016.

Vincent & Flavia in The Last Tango: "100% Strictly... entertaining, feelgood dance"

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace's brand new dance show The Last Tango opened on Wednesday 28 September 2016 at the Phoenix Theatre.
TV's Strictly Come Dancing's favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace present their third and final West End stage dance show for a stictly limited West End season.
When this production opened Lyndsey Winship in the London Evening Standard described it as being "slick, cute and retro, with comic skits and a live soundtrack of easy listening numbers. In other words: 100% Strictly... Effortlessly entertaining, feelgood dance." Neil Norman in the Daily Express said that "Vincent's flowing footwork is a well-oiled mechanism that rarely slips out of gear. Flavia is always a joy to watch with her willowy arms and shimmying derrière."
The Last Tango continues up to Saturday 3 December 2016.

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax returns 15 October 2017

'Back by public demand' - it has been announced that, following a Christmas season last year, Max Webster's stage production of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax will return to the Old Vic for a three week season from Saturday 15 October 2017.
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!" Dr. Seuss' classic tale The Lorax tells of a moustachioed and cantankerous critter who’s on a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler. Adapted from the children's book by David Greig with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, this family show is recommended for everyone aged six and above.
When the show was seen last year, Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph praised the "inventive direction from Max Webster, superb choreography from Drew McOnie and cute puppetry supervised by Finn Caldwell," while Paul Taylor in the Independent hailed it being a "deliriously engaging show, adapted in brilliantly bouncy and mad-with-a-method verse by the playwright David Greig." Dr. Seuss's The Lorax will run up to Sunday 5 November 2017.

"Dominic Cooper is totally commanding as The Libertine"

Terry Johnson's revival of Stephen Jeffreys' play The Libertine opened at the Haymarket Theatre on Tuesday 27 September 2016.
Set in the 1670s, this play tells the true story of the hedonistic John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, who is forced to reconsider everything he thinks and feels when a chance encounter with an actress at the Playhouse sends him reeling - the cast features Dominic Cooper in the title role.
When this production opened Michael Billington in the Guardian thought that "Dominic Cooper is totally commanding as Rochester... The play may be too lewd for prudes, but it offers an invigorating, warts-and-all portrait of a self-destructive sceptic," and Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times siad that "Terry Johnson and his cast relish the sheer filth of Rochester's oeuvre."
The Libertine continues up to Saturday 3 December 2016.