What’s Hot in London: October 15-21

News   What’s Hot in London: October 15-21
Hamilton announces on-sale dates for London, Cherry Jones to make West End debut, Sophie Okonedo joins Damian Lewis in The Goat, and this week’s reviews.
What’s Hot in London
What’s Hot in London
Miguel Cervantes and José Ramos Joan Marcus

Hamilton sets on-sale booking dates for West End.

The already announced London bow of Hamilton is edging closer, with an on-sale date now revealed for bookings for priority bookers who register for notifications before October 31 or have already registered on the show’s website. Those who have done so can book from January 16, with general sale from January 30. Previews are scheduled to begin November 2017 at the Victoria Palace, with full details of prices and the performance schedule to be revealed in January.

Cherry Jones to make her overdue West End debut.
The 2013 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie will see Cherry Jones making her West End debut in it as Amanda Wingfield at the Duke of York’s from January 26, following an Edinburgh International Festival run in the play earlier this summer.

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Cherry Jones

The American Repertory Theater production is being produced in London by Sonia Friedman Productions and Colin Callender, who also co-produced this year's biggest hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; John Tiffany's original Broadway staging will see the Duke of York’s transformed into Tennessee Williams’ St. Louis of the 1930s. Jones will be joined by Brian J. Smith, reprising his Broadway role as the Gentleman Caller, as well as Michael Esper and Kate O’Flynn, reprising their roles from the summer Edinburgh run, as Amanda Wingfield’s son, Tom, and daughter, Laura, respectively.

Sophie Okonedo to star in The Goat
The previously announced London revival of Edward Albee's The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia, that will star Damian Lewis as the family man with unconventional sexual desires will co-star Sophie Okonedo, the British stage and screen actor whose two most recent stage appearances have both been on Broadway (in A Raisin in the Sun in 2014, for which she won a Tony) and The Crucible earlier this year. It begins performances March 24 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

The London awards season begins.
The first salvo has been fired in the annual awards rounds in the London theatre that—unlike on Broadway—occur at different points in the year instead of coalescing in May and June around the Tonys.

The first out of the box is the longest-running ceremony, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards—now in their 62nd year. They will be presented at the Old Vic November 13. Prior to the release of the shortlist of nominees, which will be published October 24 in the London daily afternoon newspaper that presents them, they have announced a “longlist” from which the nominees will be drawn.

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Andy Karl Manuel Harlan

Amongst the possible nominees have been cited Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James Norton, Kenneth Branagh, Dominic Cooper, Simon McBurney, Janet McTeer, Jenna Russell, Sheridan Smith, and Andy Karl, all of whom have appeared on London stages this last year.

Reviews: The Red Barn
David Hare’s new play, The Red Barn, based on Georges Simenon’s novel, La Main, and co-produced by the National Theatre with Broadway’s Scott Rudin, has opened October 17 to a flurry of mostly positive notices. Robert Icke’s production stars Mark Strong (A View from the Bridge) and Hope Davis as a long married couple whose relationship struggles after a friend dies in a snowstorm.

In a review for Time Out London, Andzrej Lukowski calls Mark Strong “quietly devastating” and Hope Davis “understatedly excellent,” but says “The cast are all ultimately subsumed by Icke’s daringly slow production, which carries them on with impassively glacial force. ‘Cinematic’ is a word that’s flung around a lot, with varying degrees of meaningfulness. But this is as cinematic as theatre gets.”

Particular credit is due to designer Bunny Christie, and Lukowski writes, “Even if you hate Icke’s production—and some people will surely find its slow pace unbearable—you’ll have to admire the remarkable scene changes, where a moving gap in the screens pans like a camera, zooming in and out on the action, disorientatingly, sometimes playfully introducing us to a next scene that looks nothing like the last one.”

In The Guardian, Michael Billington calls it “a good, taut script”, but is less taken by the design solutions employed: “Over 22 scenes, the cinematic technique becomes repetitive and one begins to feel one is watching a slowly decelerating film noir.”

For further news…
Stay tuned to Playbill.com and follow me on Twitter @shentonstage for rolling news updates as they happen.

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