1 May 2021

Theatre's Coming Back - May Show Picks.

We're officially in May and that means we're just over a couple of weeks away from the next step on the UK government's road map out of the lockdown. From the 17th May (hopefully!) theatres will be allowed to open with social distances measures in place. Regional theatres that haven't opened since last March are currently preparing for their doors to open again.

As a blogger, reviewer but firstly a theatre lover I've tried not to allow myself to get overly excited about the thought of being able to go to the theatre again, simply cause I'm a little anxious if it all gets moved back again. I'm not sure it'll feel real for me until that first night where I'm back sat in a theatre seat and a show is about to begin. 

Here I've compiled a list of shows that you should consider booking for the coming weeks.

Amelie - Criterion Theatre, London
I could hardly start anywhere else. I instantly fell in love with this gorgeous show in 2019 when I went to review it at the Haymarket Theatre here in Leicester. I loved it so much that I went back again the next night and ended up traveling to various cities to see it on tour and a further 3 visits once it transferred to The Other Palace. To me, it's my favourite show I've ever seen so I urge you not to miss your chance to see it this time.

After picking up 3 Olivier Nominations and also a Grammy Nomination the show is transferring to The Criterion Theatre in London's West End where it opens for a limited season from May 20th. Tickets are on sale now https://ameliethemusical.com/

Many of the original London cast return once again with the production led by Olivier Nominated Audrey Brisson as the title character, Amelie Poulain. Chris Jared as Nino, Oliver Grant as Lucien/Mysterious Man, Johnson Willis as Collignon/Dufayel, Jez Unwin as Raphael/Bretodeau, Rachel Dawson as Amandine/Philomene, Samuel Morgan-Grahame as Joseph/Fluffy, Caolan McCarthy as Hippolito/Elton John, Kate Robson Stuart as Suzanne, Nuwan Hugh-Perera as Jean-Yves, Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Georgette/Sylvie, Jack Quarton as Blind Beggar, Sioned Saunders as Gina, Matthew James Hinchliffe as Raymond, Miiya Alexandra as Delphine and Robyn Sinclair as Cecile. 

The original cast of Amelie. Photo by Pamela Raith.


AMDRAM: A Musical Comedy - Curve
This new comedy musical written by Alex Parker and Katie Lam is coming to Curve for four performances this May. It tells of the Great Osterley North Amateur Dramatic Society, or GONADS, as they face the challenge of a professional director and leading lady joining their forthcoming production of The Golden Empress. Cast, crew, and committee are forced to explore friendships, theatre, and community with hilarious consequences but with so much drama happening off the stage will the production even make it to opening night?

The new musical boasts a fantastic cast including Janie Dee, Laura Pitt-PulfordRaj GhatakDebbie ChazenSharan PhullJordan Lee Davies, and Wendy Ferguson.

AMDRAM will run Thurs 27th May, Fri 28th May at 7.30pm, and Saturday 29th May at 1.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale now from www.curveonline.co.uk

Curve's May re-opening season also includes Residents Creative New Work (Fri 21st and Sat 22nd May), Rising from Aakash Odedra Company (Mon 24th and Tues 25th May).


Animal Farm and Othello - Royal And Derngate, Northampton
When I saw The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel in The Royal Theatre back in March 2020 I didn't suspect that it'd be my last night in the theatre for 15 months but excitingly Royal and Derngate are opening with a couple of productions in collaboration with National Youth Theatre. 

Animal Farm has been adapted by Award-winning Political Playwright Tatty Hennessy who adapts George Orwell's classic novel as an allegory for our own times exploring themes of revolution, the price of sovereignty, and power with humour and sharp wit.

Othello receives a thrilling and lyrical retelling, with Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in the title role, and sees the company explore themes of love, jealousy, systemic racism, and misogyny through the lens of crime and power.

Animal Farm runs from Monday 17th - Saturday 22nd May and Othello runs from Tues 25th May - Sat 29th May 2021. Tickets are on sale now from https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

The artwork for Animal Farm.


Neville's Island - Queen's Theatre Hornchurch
This fresh new production of Tim Firth's critically acclaimed comedy will run re-open Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. 

This hilarious farce about four out-of-condition middle managers who are forced out on the outdoor awayday from hell. When they're shipwrecked, wrapped in fog, and cut off from civilisation, Gordon, Angus, Roy, and the hapless Neville are about the experience the misadventure of their lives.

The new production is directed by Emma Baggott and will star Beruce Khan as Angus, Philip Cairns as Gordon, Sean Michael Verey as Neville, and Stephen Leask as Roy.

The show will run from May 20th - June 12th and from 22nd June - 3rd July 2021. Tickets are on sale now from https://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/



A Russian Doll - Barn Theatre, Cirencester
Few theatres have created so much amazing original content than the Barn has during the past year. Through streams, a summer outdoor season, and more, The Barn has done so much amazing work, now thankfully the theatre is due to welcome audiences back with a world premiere co-production with Arcola Theatre of Cat Goscovitch’s new play, A Russian Doll

The play, which is based on a true story, follows twenty-something Masha as she becomes embroiled in the world of data and deceit as a member of Russia’s disinformation campaigns during the EU referendum.

A Russian Doll, which will be directed by Nicolas Kent (All The President’s Men?Another World) and will star Rachel Redford, will run in Cirencester from 18 May – 13 June 2021. Following the run in the Cotswolds, the production will run at the Arcola Theatre in London. Ticket's for the Barn run are available from https://barntheatre.org.uk/


Cruise - Duchess Theatre, London
Following a successful and critically acclaimed online run, Cruise will play to audiences at The Duchess Theatre in London for a limited run.

The new drama written and performed by Jack Holden. It tells of Michael in 1988's Soho who has is heading towards the last day of his life as he was given four years to live after being diagnosed with HIV. 

Cruise is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis; an urgent piece of theatre, with an irresistible 80s soundtrack, which will make you laugh, make you cry, and which inspires us all to live every day as if it’s our last.

The production will run from May 18th - June 13th 2021. Tickets are available from https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/cruise/



These shows are just a handful of brilliant productions that will be re-opening up and down the country. I personally can't wait for each and every venue, regardless of size to re-open. Come back in a few weeks to see my June recommendations.

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