LONDON SPRING SEASON PREVIEW: In the West End and Beyond, Expect Helen Mirren, Daniel Radcliffe, Jude Law and More

By Mark Shenton
27 Dec 2012



Daniel Radcliffe

Revivals in London
The Michael Grandage company season of productions at the Noel Coward sees a roll-call of stars in a series of revivals alongside the aforementioned Peter and Alice: Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan (with Daniel Radcliffe from June 8), A Midsummer Night's Dream (with Sheridan Smith as Titania and David Walliams as Bottom, from Sept. 7) and Henry V (with Jude Law in the title role from Nov. 13).

More West End Shakespeare will also see the launch of the new Jamie Lloyd company at a transformed, reconfigured Trafalgar Studios with James McAvoy playing the title role in Macbeth (from Feb. 9), and Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones reuniting after their previous Broadway and West End triumphs in Driving Miss Daisy to star as Beatrice and Benedick in Mark Rylance's production of Much Ado About Nothing (at the Old Vic from Sept. 7).

Also at the Old Vic there will be revivals of Terrence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy (from March 8) and Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, starring Kim Cattrall as a Hollywood actress down on her luck (from June 1), under the direction of Marianne Elliott. There's a double helping of Ibsen at the Young Vic across the street from the Old Vic, where Carrie Cracknell's production ofA Doll's House, starring Hattie Morahan and Dominic Rowan, returns from April 2, and is followed by Public Enemy, directed by Richard Jones, from May 4.

At the Donmar Warehouse, Joe Wright — who was himself brought up in the shadow of the Little Angel Theatre in Islington that his parents founded — will stage Pinero's Victorian backstage play Trelawny of the Wells (from Feb. 15), to be followed by the first London revival of Conor McPherson's 1997 play The Weir (from April 18), directed by the Donmar's artistic director Josie Rourke.

Simon Stephens' 2002 play Port receive a new production at the National, again directed by the busy Marianne Elliott, who also staged its original production (in the Lyttelton Theatre from Jan. 22). Also at the National, Antony Sher will star in the title role of the 1931 German play The Captain of Kopenick, directed by former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble making his NT debut (in the Olivier from Jan. 29).

In the West End, there will be revivals of Harold Pinter's Old Times (starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams, at the Pinter Theatre from Jan. 12) and Simon Gray's Quartermaine's Terms (starring Rowan Atkinson at Wyndham's from Jan. 23, whose original production was directed by Pinter). Zoe Wanamaker will star in a revival of Peter Nichols' Passion Play (at the Duke of York's from May 1), and Felicity Kendal and Kara Tointon will appear in a West End transfer for Bath Theatre Royal's touring production of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking (at Wyndham's from May 14).

Hampstead Theatre's recent revival of David Hare's The Judas Kiss will transfer to the Duke of York's (from Jan. 17), with Rupert Everett reprising his performance as Oscar Wilde and Freddie Fox as his lover Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas. Another more contemporary (and happier) gay love story classic, Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing, will return to the Arts in a new production starring Suranne Jones, from April 13.

Another modern classic making a welcome return, under its original director Max Stafford-Clark's auspices, is Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, which concludes a national tour for his Out of Joint company with a season at the St. James Theatre (from Jan. 30).

 Continued...