Emma Clarendon selects some shows she can’t wait to catch this Autumn.

A View From the Bridge, Rose Theatre: playing at the Kingston-Upon-Thames based theatre from the 31st October until the 11th November, this new revival of Arthur Miller’s play will be directed by Holly Race Roughan and star: Jonathan Slinger (HamletMacbeth at The RSC, Crave at Chichester Festival Theatre, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End) as Eddie, Nancy Crane (Inside Man BBC, Suspicion Apple TV, Summer & Smoke, Chimerica at the Almeida / West End) as the first woman to play the role of Alfieri. The production is a collaboration between the Rose Theatre, Headlong, Chichester Festival Theatre and Octagon Theatre.

My Neighbour Totoro, Barbican: having won six Olivier Awards at this year’s ceremony and five WhatsonStage Awards, this popular stage adaptation of the 1988 animated film returns to London for a run from the 21st November until the 23rd March. Having missed it the last time – I’m relieved that it is coming back!

Backstairs Billy, Duke of York’s Theatre: Michael Grandage directs Luke Evans and Penelope Wilton in Marcelo Dos Santos’ new play, which will head to the West End from the 27th October. The story follows a pivotal moment between the Queen Mother and her loyal servant William “Billy” Tallon. The production reunites Michael Grandage with Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans, having previously collaborated on  productions of The Chalk Garden, John Gabriel Borkman and Hamlet; and with Evans who performed at the Donmar twice under Grandage’s Artistic directorship, in Small Change and Piaf.

Close Up: The Twiggy Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory: Ben Elton has written and directed a brand new musical looking at the life and career of one of the most recognisable models, complete with hits that formed the background to Twiggy’s life and career. Twiggy herself will be played by Elena Skye, whose previous credits include: Lauren in Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre), Eponine in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre) and as Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (London Coliseum and UK tour). It will run at the Menier Chocolate Factory from the 18th September until the 18th November.  

The Time Traveller’s Wife, Apollo Theatre: this brand new musical based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger and the New Line Cinema film screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, will begin performances at the Apollo Theatre from the 7th October. The cast is led by David Hunter as Henry and Joanna Woodward as Clare and features original music and lyrics by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart and additional music by Nick Finlow and additional lyrics by Kait Kerrigan.  

Hamnet, Garrick Theatre: booking from the 30th September until the 4th January 2024 and based on Maggie O’Farrell’s novel (which is worth a read if you haven’t already the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production was adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi, Red Velvet, Hymn) and is directed by Erica Whyman. It is a story of Agnes Hathaway, a natural healer who meets the Latin tutor, William Shakespeare who later on have to deal with the loss of a child in very different ways. While the book took a while for me to get into, I can’t wait to see how it translates on stage.

Lyonesse, Harold Pinter Theatre: just when you thought you couldn’t get any more theatrical treats this Autumn, Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James are set to star in the world premiere of Penelope Skinner’s new play which will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited 10 week run from the 17th October. It sounds like a story of intrigue and mystery, in which a reclusive and talented actress, disappears in mysterious circumstances but 30 years later, she finally feels ready to tell her story – summoning Kate, a
young film executive (Lily James), to her remote Cornish home to help with her comeback….

Pygmalion, Old Vic Theatre: George Bernard Shaw’s play will arrive on stage at the Old Vic Theatre from the 6th September, starring Bertie Carvel (The 47thThe Crown) and Patsy Ferran (Camp SiegfriedA Streetcar Named Desire), directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Richard Jones (EndgameThe Hairy Ape). The play was transformed into a musical but is still relevant in the way it bitingly looks at class.

Rebecca, Charing Cross Theatre: the musical based on Daphne Du Maurier’s 1938 novel has a new English translation by Christopher Hampton (two-time Tony Award winner Best Score & Best Book for ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ & ‘The Father’) and Michael Kunze and is directed by Alejandro Bonatto. It was originally adapted for the stage by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, two of the most successful German-language musical theatre creators. It had its world premiere at the VBW’s Raimund Theater in Vienna, Austria, in September 2006 and features 22 original songs. The musical will run at the theatre from the 4th September until the 18th November.

Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre: Nicole Scherzinger will take to the West End stage once again from September in Jamie Lloyd’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. It will run for a strictly limited season until the 6th January 2024, with further casting and details yet to be announced. Jamie Lloyd is sure to put his own distinctive style on the musical and I’m definitely intrigued to see what he comes up with.


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