1. Orpheus at Battersea Arts Centre – ★★★★★. Until 17th May.
Our only 5-star shows in this week’s lineup, this production of Orpheus at the BAC combines Greek myth with French Jazz. Django Reinhardt becomes the eponymous Orpheus, in a show awash with music, dancing, acting and singing. Our reviewer had tears in her eyes at the climax… in her words: “If you have any love for theatre and performance it is imperative you go and see this play.”
2. Avenue Q at the Greenwich Theatre – ★★★★. Until 11th May.
Avenue Q is the kind of show which makes musical-theatre-skeptics think twice. With its Muppet-style puppets and irreverent humour, this show is more closely related to animated TV show Family Guy than it is to West Side Story. Outrageous fun. The only down side is that you’ll find yourself referencing the song titles (eg The Internet Is For Porn) in every possible social situation.
3. A Dashing Fellow at The New Diorama – ★★★★. Until 17th May.
If you are looking for something a little more high-brow than puppets having drunken one night stands, then maybe A Dashing Fellow will be the show for you. This production at the New Diorama, near Euston Square, is an adaptation of Nobokov stories, presented as a series of vignettes. Well executed and very entertaining!
4. The Rite of Spring/Romeo and Juliet at the Blue Elephant – ★★★★. Touring until 10th May.
The Rite of Spring/Romeo and Juliet presents a combination one of the Bard’s most well-known stories and Igor Stravinsky’s successful yet experimental (at the time it was written in 1913) orchestral work. In this unusual retelling, no words are used at all: only physicality is used to express the story (which is just fine considering many of the performers have trained at the famous Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris). The show is over at the Blue Elephant but will be touring until 10th May.
5. Hamlyn at The Space – ★★★★. Until 9th May.
Hamlyn is a dreamy, cinematic show which relies more on illusion than concrete detail. Like a good TV police drama, it has brutal subject matter, gripping performances and keeps you guessing and asking questions in your compulsion to find the truth.