Starting with London and heading all the way on over to Australia, we look at the current trends of the theatre world.
Theatre: The Winslow Boy, Old Vic
10 March-25 May
Terence Rattigan’s compelling drama The Winslow Boy comes to The Old Vic stage following the success of Cause Célèbre.
Driven by a passionate belief in justice whatever the personal cost, Arthur Winslow sets out to prove his son’s innocence when he is accused of theft. This moving story pits the rights of the individual against the will of the state. A fight for truth, played out under the media spotlight, tests one family to its very limit.
19 March-6 April
Bound together by birth, business and bloody bad luck, Albert and Harold Steptoe wake up every morning to the same old, same old, sickening sight of each other. Two men, two world wars, two lives knitted together as tight as a thrice darned sock.
Theatre: People, National Theatre
to May 15
Frances de la Tour takes the part of Dorothy in her third new play by Alan Bennett at the National following The History Boys and The Habit of Art. She is joined by Selina Cadell and Linda Bassett.
Having last worked together on the internationally acclaimed War Horse, Bristol Old Vic's Artistic Director Tom Morris and Cape Town's Handspring Puppet Company reunite to begin a new journey in Bristol.
Shakespeare's inexhaustible A Midsummer Night's Dream unfurls in the intimacy of our redeveloped Theatre, interweaving the lives of lovers, actors, friends, foes and fairies. This is a ...Dream about love, transformation, survival and song, where a belief in the mystical presence of fairies isn't mere superstition, but a magic lore encoded in the routines of a community living on the edge.
Trees, objects and tools all pulse and tingle with the possibility of existence in a world that, thanks to the magic of Handspring, all objects are granted the right to life.
21 March-15 April
Siegfried is the third of the four operas that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. At the heart of the "Ring" between the Adagio appassionato of The Valkyrieand the grand final Götterdämmerung , Siegfried has always appeared as the comic relief. And the hero who appears is in no way a knight or mystical savior of an entire people, but "the real naked man", in which Wagner sees with delight "every pulsation of blood, all strong muscle contractions in freer movement, in a word, the real man that is to say, the handsome young man in the freshness of its most striking force that is the origin of all the primitive legends. '
Theatre: Hamlet, Schaubuhne, Berlin
Hamlet is going crazy. His father has died suddenly of a strange disease, and his mother has married her deceased husband’s brother, of all people, after just one month. Hamlet has nighttime visions of his father, who claims his brother poisoned him, and exhorts Hamlet to take revenge and kill his new stepfather. Hamlet acts the part of the crazy man in order to hide his plans, and loses his grip on reality in the process. The whole world becomes a stagnant swamp to him. Desire and sexuality become a threatening abyss. The friends surrounding him turn out to be spies deployed by his stepfather to keep an eye on him. Even Ophelia, his beloved, is a part of the scheme. The avenger becomes the prey, with an informer listening behind every curtain, as Hamlet’s paranoia proves to be not unfounded. The insane act turns to actual insanity, and Hamlet kills the wrong man: Polonius, Ophelia’s father. His mother and stepfather cover up the murder and keep Hamlet out of the public eye, and Hamlet’s plans for revenge seem to evaporate. He loses control of himself, his goals, and his life. Ophelia falls apart in the face of this and kills herself. When his stepfather decides finally to silence Hamlet, Hamlet seizes the opportunity at hand and with one final rampage forces his world to its knees.
The world has changed significantly since this play was first performed in 1973, when it was illegal for three playwrights to meet, let alone collaborate on a rebellious piece of literature. But through the creation of this brilliant two-hander, Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona brought to life a tale that took the world by storm and helped to persuade America to impose sanctions in South Africa.
"In the first 15 years of my life I lived in 16 houses, 3 caravans and went to 12 schools" says Tammy Anderson, in this one-woman-show of beautifully-evoked characters and song, where darkness and trauma never extinguish the flames of inspiration, laughter and the love of life itself.