LONDON SPRING PREVIEW 2014: Miss Saigon, Fatal Attraction, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Shakespeare Turns 450

By Mark Shenton
29 Dec 2013

Simon Russell Beale
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Other classical theatre highlights coming up include Simon Russell Beale and director Sam Mendes reuniting for King Lear (at the National's Olivier Theatre from Jan. 14), with a cast that also includes Kate Fleetwood, Anna Maxwell Martin, Adrian Scarborough, Stanley Townsend and Sam Troughton. Also in coming months at the National, Lesley Sharp and Kate O'Flynn (who made such an impression in Simon Stephens' Port at the National in 2013) will star in a new production of Shelagh Delaney's 1958 first play A Taste of Honey (in the Lyttelton Theatre from Feb. 10), and a season by comedian Daniel Kitson in his latest show Analog.Ue (from Feb. 22).

Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company will bring their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream to the Barbican (from Feb. 6), reuniting director Tom Morris and Handspring for the first time since their triumph with War Horse. Cheek by Jowl will revive their 2012 production of John Ford's Tis Pity She's a Whore (at the Barbican's Silk Street Theater from April 9), as well as their production of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (from June 18).

The Donmar Warehouse's hit 2013 revival of Conor McPherson's contemporary classic The Weir moves to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre from Jan. 16, with the full original cast that comprises Brian Cox, Ardal O'Hanlon, Risteárd Cooper, Dervla Kirwan and Peter McDonald reprising their roles in Josie Rourke's production. Also at the Donmar itself, 2014 will see a revival of Brian Friel's Fathers and Sons, based on the novel by Ivan Turgenev (from June 5), directed by Lyndsey Turner (currently represented on Broadway by her new production of Machinal for Roundabout Theatre Company).

At London's Tricycle Theatre, Adrian Lester reprises his performance as the American actor Ira Aldridge, who took over the title role of Othello from Edmund Kean in a London production of that play in 1833, in Lolita Chakrabarti's Red Velvet, from Jan 23, prior to transferring to New York's St. Ann's Warehouse, where it will run March 25-April 20. Lester won the Best Actor Award in the U.K.'s Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for this performance, and the play saw its author win the most promising playwright award in both the Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

At the Royal Court, Lisa Dwan reprises her performance in Beckett's Not I at the Royal Court (from Jan. 9), where it was seen previously, in a new triple bill with Beckett's Footfalls and Rockaby, for a two-week run prior to an immediate brief transfer to the West End's Duchess Theatre (from Feb. 3).

And also in the West End, British-born stage and screen star Angela Lansbury will make her long-awaited London stage return for the first time in nearly 40 years when she reprises her 2009 Tony winning performance in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgu Theatre (from March 1). Michael Blakemore directs a cast that also includes Janie Dee, Charles Edwards, Simon Jones, Sandra Dickinson and Jemima Rooper.