LONDON SPRING PREVIEW 2012: In the West End and Beyond, Expect Susan Boyle, Mark Rylance, a Musical Bridget Jones' Diary and More

By Mark Shenton
02 Jan 2012

Josie Rourke
photo by Hugo Glendinning

Meanwhile, in the shift around of artistic directors elsewhere, Josie Rourke's opening round in charge of the Donmar Warehouse will see her directing Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer (from Feb. 9) and Durenmatt's The Physicists (from May 31), with Peter Gill returning to the Donmar to direct Robert Holman's Making Noise Quietly (from April 19) in between.

Director Nicolas Kent's final season at the helm of North London's Tricycle Theatre, after 28 years in charge, will follow the current return run of Stones in His Pockets (running through Feb. 4) with the two-part play The Bomb (from Feb. 9), a partial history of the nuclear bomb from 1940 to the present day, by commissioned playwrights Lee Blessing, Zinnie Harris and Ron Hutchinson.

At the Royal Court, the main house season in the Jerwood Downstairs features David Eldridge's new play In Basildon (from Feb. 16), an epic family drama whose cast will include Linda Bassett, Debbie Chazen and Ruth Sheen; the London premiere of the prolific Mike Bartlett's Love Love Love (from April 27), and the Royal Court's second Joe Penhall premiere within six months, his latest play Birthday (from June 22), with a cast that includes Stephen Mangan. In the studio Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the season will comprise Nick Payne's Constellations (from Jan. 13, with Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall), Luke Norris' Goodbye to All That (from Feb. 23), Hayley Squires' Vera Vera Vera (from March 22), Bola Agbaje's Belong (from April 26) and Vivienne Franzmann's The Witness (from June 1).

At the Almeida, as well as the aforementioned King Lear with Jonathan Pryce, the season will include new productions of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, with the action relocated to Iran and featuring Iranian stage and screen star Shohreh Aghdashio making her British stage debut (from Jan. 19), Eduardo de Filippo's Filumena, starring Samantha Spiro in the title role (from March 15) and the world premiere of Matthew Dunster's Children's Children (from May 17).

Antony Sher

At the National Theatre, Antony Sher will return in the premiere of Nicholas Wright's play Travelling Light (in the Lyttelton from Jan. 11, prior to a tour and broadcast internationally as part of National Theatre Live on Feb. 9), Steve Pemberton and "Coronation Street" actress Katherine Kelly star in Jamie Lloyd's production of Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (in the Olivier from Jan. 24) and Michael Buffong directs a new production of Errol John's 1953 play Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (in the Cottesloe from March 7). The National will also host the London premiere of Can We Talk About This? by physical theatre company DV8 who have been regular National visitors (in the Lyttelton from March 9).

At the Barbican, its re-branded Barbican Theatre and Dance season will include Cate Blanchett returning to London to star in Sydney Theatre Company's Gross und Klein (Great and Small) (from April 13), Juliette Binoche in August Strindberg's Mademoiselle Julie (from Sept. 20), and new productions by Improbable of The Devil and Mister Punch (from Feb. 2), Cheek by Jowl of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (from Feb. 16), Complicite of Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (from March 15) and Japan's Ninagawa Company of Cymbeline (from May 29).

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