June is proving to be a busy month for West End Theatre with a number of high-profile openings, including work from big name directors such as Sam Mendes, Richard Eyre and Matthew Warchus.
At the National Theatre, a revival of Terence Rattigan’s After The Dance starts previews from 1 June 2010 featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, and Richard Eye directs Moira Buffini’s new play Welcome to Thebes from 15 June. Also starting on the 15th is Tap Dogs at the Novello Theatre, which returns to London starring hot song and dance man Adam Garcia.
Wartime land girls play Lilies on the Land begins previews at the Arts Theatre from 8 June, and at the Almeida Ruth Wilson stars in a stage version of Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly from 10 June.
The Old Vic sees the next of its Bridge Project plays start on 12 June, in a new Sam Mendes production of As You Like It starring Stephen Dillane and Juliet Rylance.
Sticking with the Shakespeare theme, the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park starts previews of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors on 24 June, and the following day the Lyric Hammersmith transfers its sell-out fright-night chiller Ghost Stories to the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Finally, all-star, Broadway-bound comedy La Bete opens at the Comedy Theatre from 26 June starring Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce.
MORE INFORMATION AND BOOKING
National Theatre, from 1 June 2010
With next year’s centenary of playwright Terence Rattigan fast approaching, expect to see a number of high-profile revivals of his work – both on stage and screen.
This new production of his 1939 play After the Dance is directed for the National by Thea Sharrock (The Misanthrope, Equus) and is a subtle expose of the hedonistic 1920s generation, dealing with themes of repression and love.
As the world races towards catastrophe, a crowd of Mayfair socialites party their way to oblivion. At its centre is David, who idles away his sober moments researching a futile book until the beautiful Helen decides to save him, shattering his marriage and learning too late the depth of both David’s indolence and his wife’s undeclared love. But with finances about to crash and humanity on the brink of global conflict, the drink keeps flowing and the revellers dance on.
Arts Theatre, from 8 June 2010
Lilies On The Land is moving and funny portrait of some of Britain’s pluckiest, unsung heroes. This charming, gripping tale celebrates the Women’s Land Army during World War II – an extraordinary episode in Britain’s history. This play charts the personal journeys of four women who sign up to become Land Girls, determined to work backbreaking hours on the land in a bid to do their bit for the war effort.
Based on letters and interviews with the original Land Girls, these women, who are all from different backgrounds and torn from their families, must survive the hardships of farming and the pressures of war. The cast of this compelling play features Rosalind Cressy, Sarah Finch, Dorothy Lawrence and Kali Peacock.
The Old Vic, from 12 June
Part of the successful Bridge Project – a transatlantic collaboration between the Old Vic in London and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York – this year sees Oscar winning director Sam Mendes direct Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Tempest.
The company is led by Stephan Dillane, Christian Camargo, Ron Cephas Jones and Juliet Rylance.
As You Like It is Shakespeare’s pastoral romantic comedy that features Juliet Rylance and Michelle Beck as the heroines Rosalind and Celia, and Christian Camargo and Thomas Sadoski as Orlando and Touchstone.
Young British actress Rylance, the daughter of acclaimed actor Mark Rylance, has appeared on stage both in New York and London, including Shakespeare’s Globe. Dillane, who plays Jacques in As You Like It, returns to the stage for the first time since winning a Tony Award for Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.
Novello Theatre, from 15 June 2010
Tap Dogs is a worldwide hit that combines the strength and power of workmen with the precision and talent of tap dancing. The adrenalin-pumped cast of this award-winning show inject raw passion and power into the ultimate visual dance spectacular.
Adam Garcia started his career in 1992 in the Australian tour of Hot Shoe Shuffle – which transferred to the West End – and went on to perform in Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Wicked and as a judge on Sky 1 entertainment show Got To Dance.
Duke of York’s Theatre, from 25 June 2010
A truly terrifying theatrical experience written and directed by The League of Gentlemen’s master of the macabre, Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman, co-creator and director of Derren Brown’s television and stage shows and star of Dead Set and Severance.
As three men gather together, each has an uncanny, chilling tale to tell. Ghost Stories played a hugely successful run at the Lyric Hammersmith before transferring to the Duke of York’s theatre in the West End. The show stars Nicholas Burns, David Cardy, Ryan Gage and Andy Nyman.
Strictly for theatregoers aged 16 and older.
“Brilliant and deeply unsettling” The Telegraph
“A pant-wetter of a night. It’s terrifying” Daily Mail
“Yes, I gulped and others screeched” The Times
“Hugely entertaining piece of theatre” The Stage
Comedy Theatre, from 26 June 2010
American playwright David Hirson’s rollicking 1991 play, La Bete is a comic tour de force about Elomire (David Hyde Pierce – “Frasier”), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Mark Rylance – “Jerusalem”), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess (Joanna Lumley – “Absolutely Fabulous”) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.
Other cast include Stephen Ouimette, Lisa Joyce, Greta Lee, Robert Lonsdale, Michael Milligan, Liza Sadovy and Sally Wingert. The play will be directed by Matthew Warchus and run for a limited season at the Comedy Theatre before heading to Broadway.