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Theatre shows for Valentine’s Day (whatever your relationship status)

By Alice Saville

1. For a (potentially awkward) first date

David Eldridge’s comedy ‘Beginning’ (Ambassadors Theatre, until March 24) is a painfully realistic look at two hammered thirtysomethings hooking up in the aftermath of a party. Take a date, and cackle at the hopelessness of finding love in twenty-first-century London.
Romance factor: ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Not huge, but it’ll make any moves you decide to pull look pretty smooth by comparison. 

2. Because it’s Galentine’s Day, too

There are two ways you could play this. Either go to a heartwarming celebration of female friendship ‘Wicked’ (Apollo Victoria, until May 24 2019) and reel out into the night singing ‘Defying Gravity’ (gently, that top F could maim your vocal chords for life). Or go to ‘Collective Rage’ (Southwark Playhouse, until February 17) and watch five women dismantle and then set fire to the patriarchy in a queer, cabaret-style exploration of female anger. The choice is yours!
Romance factor:❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Because love takes many, many forms. 

3. When it’s a love-hate kinda thing

Peter Shaffer’s play ‘Amadeus’ (National Theatre, until April 24) centres on Salieri, a composer who’s so dangerously obsessed with Mozart that he’ll stop at nothing to bring him down. In Michael Longhurst’s revival, it’s sumptuous, fiery and totally gripping.
Romance factor: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ High passions, opera and men in tights – frankly, theatre doesn’t get more sizzling. 

4. For the long-term-relationship crowd

‘Exciting’ isn’t always good in a relationship, as poor old Romeo and Juliet found out. But what if they’d made it out alive? Lost Dog’s ‘Juliet and Romeo’ (BAC, until February 24) follows Shakespeare’s lovers, 30 years on. They decide to stage a show as unlikely couples’ therapy.
Romance factor: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Romeo and Juliet basically invented romance and no midlife crisis can take that away from them. 

5. If you’re going it alone

New musical ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ (Apollo Shaftesbury, until October 6) is both tons of fun and a nice reminder that there’s more to life than M&S meal deals and Two Together railcards. It’s the story of an acid-tongued teenage lad from Sheffield who decides to go to prom in a dress. To a hugely catchy score, he blossoms into a local drag superstar, and totally shames the bullies who stand in his way.
Romance factor: ❤️❤️ Pretty low, to be honest… but who needs a date when you’re dressed to kill?

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