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Hampstead Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Swiss Cottage
  1. The Hampstead Theatre auditorium
    Helen MaybanksThe Hampstead Theatre auditorium
  2. Artistic director Ed Hall in the Hampstead Theatre auditorium
    Helen MaybanksArtistic director Ed Hall in the Hampstead Theatre auditorium
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Time Out says

The modern off-West End theatre has a history of robust productions with wide-ranging appeal.

Hampstead Theatre has reopened with a full season of plays, with social distancing remaining in place until 11th September

With its versatile main auditorium, the modern building of Hampstead Theatre is home to a host of meaty offerings since it was first founded in 1959, from new work by new playwrights and new work from old ones too. The likes of Debbie Tucker Green, Dennis Kelly and Mike Leigh have all had shows on in the early days of their careers, and the theatre has a history of its robust productions transferring to the West End.

The theatre downstairs is a platform for brand new work from very new writers and companies - that's not reviewed by critics - while the main house is a continued draw for respectable stars such as Roger Allam and Simon Russell Beale.

Grab a ticket for around £10 (concessions) to £35 for main house shows, while tickets in Hampstead's downstairs theatre are usually at the £12 mark. The bar area sells a good selection of hot meals and light bites, in a slightly cramped, but usually pretty buzzy atmosphere.

Details

Address:
Eton Avenue
London
NW3 3EX
Transport:
Tube: Swiss Cottage
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What’s on

Between Riverside and Crazy

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Drama

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Pulitzer-winning play is a meaty watch, a pungent, spikey mix of laughs, tears and doomed defiance that centres on a multiracial group of misfits headed by Danny Sapani’s retired NYPD officer Walter.  Boozing away his enforced retirement in a palatial but semi-dilapidated rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan (a nicely grungy set from Max Jones), Walter’s law enforcement past hasn’t in any way discouraged him from taking in a selection of semi criminal waifs and strays, notably his own son Junior (Martins Imhangbe), Junior’s ditsy, possibly-a-prostitute girlfriend Lulu (an excellent professional debut from Tiffany Gray) and their edgy addict pal Oswaldo (Sebastian Orozco) – all of whom call Walter ‘dad’. Much of Guirgis’s writing here is about unhurriedly enjoying the characters, and in this respect Michael Longhurst’s production very much rises (slowly) to the occasion. Fresh from playing a very different troubled patriarch - King Lear at the Almeida - Danny Sapani is excellent as recent widower Walter, who combines an extreme amount of not giving a shit with an unshakable sense of honour.  After pleasantly meandering for a bit, it gets into gear when a couple of ex-colleagues come to visit Walter with a message from the Government of the City of New York. As opaquely alluded to earlier, Walter’s career was ended six years ago when a young white officer mistakenly pumped him full of lead; he has spent the intervening years campaigning for heads to rol

The Harmony Test

  • Drama

Alice Hamilton directs this new play by Richard Molloy about a pair of couples: newlyweds Zoe and Kash, who are planning to start a family and are intent on doing so ‘correctly’; and Naomi and Charlie, who’ve been married for 20 years – him happily, her less so. It’s got an excellent cast of Pearl Chanda, Bally Gill, Jemima Rooper, Sandro Rosta and Milo Twomey.

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