For every show that opens in London, there’s another which is closing. Here is a guide to some of the shows you can’t miss:
Saying hello to…
1. Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead, Old Vic Theatre: Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire and David Haig star in this revival of Tom Stoppard’s play. The play is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Against the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this mind-bending situation comedy sees two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz (Daniel Radcliffe) and Guildenstern (Joshua McGuire), take centre stage with David Haig as The Player. Increasingly out of their depth, the young double act stumble their way in and out of the action of this iconic drama.
2. Limehouse, Donmar Warhouse: this new play from Steve Waters is a fictional account of what happens when four prominent Labour politicians get together to find a political alternative that has them asking should they divide their party? should they start afresh?
The production opens for previews on the 2nd March, officially opening the 8th March.
3. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre: now in previews, Imelda Staunton returns to the London stage in James MacDonald’s production of Edward Albee’s play.
In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor Nick and his wife Honey to their home for some after-party drinks. As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.
The production also stars Conleth Hill, Luke Treadaway and Imogen Poots – making her West End debut.
4. Stepping out, Vaudeville Theatre: opening for previews on the 1st March, the story follows the lives of seven women and one man trying to dance their troubles away in a weekly tap class. Directed by Maria Friedman, the cast for Stepping Out includes Amanda Holden, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicola Stephenson.
Stepping Out charts the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class. Initially all thumbs and left feet, the group is just getting to grips with the basics when they are asked to take part in a charity gala. Over the course of several months we meet the group, and all of them have a story to tell. There’s perfectionist Vera, mouthy Maxine and uptight Andy, bubbly Sylvia and shy Dorothy, eager Lynne and cheerful Rose, and, of course, Geoffrey. At the piano is the dour Mrs Fraser and spurring them all on, the ever-patient Mavis.
5. An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre: transferring from Broadway and directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris is based on the Oscar winning film starring Gene Kelly.
Jerry Mulligan is an American GI striving to make it as a painter in a city suddenly bursting with hope and possibility. Following a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer named Lise, the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship and love in the aftermath of war…
Waving goodbye to…
1. Buried Child, Trafalgar Studios: closing on the 4th March this is your last chance to see Ed Harris and Amy Madigan in Scott Elliott’s production of Sam Shepard’s play.
Dodge (Harris) and Halie (Madigan) are barely hanging on to their farmland and their sanity while looking after their two wayward grown sons. When their grandson Vince (Irvine) arrives with his girlfriend Shelly (Hope), no one seems to recognize him, and confusion abounds. As Vince tries to make sense of the chaos, the rest of the family dances around a deep, dark secret.
2. Death Takes a Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre: also closing on the 4th March, this UK premiere production of Maury Yeston’s musical directed by Thom Southerland sees Death dressing up as a prince and taking a holiday to discover why life is considered to be precious.
In Northern Italy, shortly after World War One, Death disguises himself as a handsome young prince to try to understand why life is so precious and death so feared. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman, this mysterious stranger discovers that love may, in fact, be stronger than death.
3. La Ronde, The Bunker: on until the 11th March, this is a piece of theatre with a twist: the story is completely different every performance – brilliantly performed by a cast of four.
Two hopeful hapless romantics get drunk, get it on and then get the hell away from each other.In her eyes he’s a mistake. A mistake who keeps turning up at parties. In his eyes, she’s perfect. He’s short-sighted.