This week’s theatre features the debut play of a brilliant new playwright, Charlotte Merriam, the European debut of established US writer, Audrey Cefaly, continued brilliance from one of the UK’s best ensemble companies and the revival of one of our most loved authors – Noel Coward. I could not be more excited about my top fringe theatre to see this week:
Education, Education, Education – Shoreditch Town Hall (Nearest tube station: Old Street)
The Wardrobe Ensemble make excellent theatre. Education, Education, Education, is no deviation from this fact. If you’re the sort of person who likes proof, this show won a Fringe First Award as well as earning 4 and 5-star reviews across the board. I also had every single one of the people I knew at Edinburgh telling me to go and watch it. So I pass this worthy advice onto you!
Set in 1997, just after Tony Blair’s seminal speech from which the title comes, the action takes place in a normal comprehensive, where teachers are balancing the optimism of what is to come with the realities of the now. It’s sharp-witted, irreverent, will get you thinking and they have a Tamagotchi in it. Not one to miss.
Dames – Pleasance Theatre (Nearest tube station: Caledonian Road)
This is Charlotte Merriam’s first play and it’s a great one. I was privileged to see a rehearsed reading last year and I am excited about this receiving a proper run.
Set in the holy grail of female intimacy, a nightclub’s toilets, this show explores the world of six women. Unfiltered. Six women who might have nothing to say to each other if it weren’t for the exceptional circumstance of booze.
It will be hilarious, it will be touching and, for those of you who have never experienced the beauty and the bravery of a ladies’ bathroom, a revelation. BOOK NOW
The Gulf – Tristan Bates Theatre (Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus)
The Tristan Bates Theatre is home to the European premiere of this award-winning American play by Audrey Cefaly. Set on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, a place poisoned by oil spills, this play delves into Betty and Kendra’s relationship. It is a funny and emotional two-hander and the space at the Tristan Bates lends itself beautifully to work of this kind. With a stellar cast and creative team, this is sure to be an excellent show and a wonderful chance to see new American work. Find out more in our interview with star Louisa Lytton.
Tonight At 8.30 – Jermyn Street Theatre (Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus)
Tom Littler has undertaken quite the feat at the Jermyn Street Theatre this spring. Bringing to life a revival – the like of which has not been seen since 1936 – of this set of nine Noel Coward one-act plays. A company of nine actors perform in the three shows, each containing a trio of pieces: Nuclear Families, Bedroom Farces and Secret Hearts.
The theatre stages one each evening. And at the weekend there’s the chance to see all three in a back-to-back theatrical treat. Including Still Life, on which Brief Encounter was based, this is a brilliant opportunity to see some of Coward’s lesser known work directed by a proven hand at reviving classics.