Well, this certainly was a week of fantastic shows! Not only do we have two 5-star productions in the lineup, but a myriad of excellent 4-star shows also made the cut. All innovative in their own right, I simply couldn’t cut the list down to fewer that six shows this week… Enjoy! And remember, all shows in the Editor’s choice are still running, at least for the next week – so do try and nab yourself some tickets!
1.Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre – ★★★★★. Until 6th September.
The first 5-star show of our lineup this week is a duo of Tudor dramas at the Aldwych Theatre. Based on the novels by Hilary Mantel and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, these two shows chart the political rise of Oliver Cromwell. Darkly funny, gripping, and masterfully produced, this is a must see. For extra enjoyment, try to see both on the same day. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East – ★★★★★. Until 8th June.
This rollicking musical is part of the celebrations for Joan Littlewood’s 100th birthday. First staged in 1959 in the very same venue, it takes place in a 50s Soho bar brimming with gamblers, spivs and prostitutes. It has great songs, fantastic performances and excellent choreography. As the reviewer for this one put it “If there’s any justice this show should transfer to the West End. If not, time is short, so please get to Stratford as quickly as you can.”
3. Positive at the Waterloo East Theatre – ★★★★. Until 1st June.
Positive is an entirely different production to the two mentioned above. This play follows a young gay man in London, Benji, as he is diagnosed with HIV and how he comes to terms with it. Not an easy topic, but this show is honest, entertaining, informative and moving, supported by great actors and clever direction.
4. Hunger at E5 Bakehouse – ★★★★. Until 19th June.
Hunger is a play set in an actual bakery. The show itself follows a hard-up writer, and studies his descent into madness caused by hunger. A fascinating performance with some wonderful acting, the only downside the reviewer warned of is that you will also get very, very hungry…. but thankfully the performance is followed by a Scandinavia-style meal! A wonderful concept, and a production not to be missed.
5. Limbo at London Wonderground (Southbank) – ★★★★. Until 17th June.
Limbo is part of the London Wonderground on the Southbank, now in its 3rd year of summer residence on the banks of the Thames. This show is a modern-day version of a 1920’s spiegeltent: complete with theatre, dance, illusion, contortion, acrobatics, gymnastics and fire eating, flowing seamlessly. If what you are looking for is an out-of-the-ordinary evening of fun, then this is the show for you.
6. All My Sons at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – ★★★★. Until 7th June.
Finally, our line-up is rounded off my a more traditional production, played in the wonderful setting of Regent’s Park. Arthur Miller’s iconic piece is performed against the backdrop of the setting sun. This is an incredible production, one that uses all elements at its disposal to their full extent. But bring a blanket, as it gets cold once the sun is gone!