London's top ten new theatre shows
The name of the surrounding festival may change annually (this year's it's the London Bridge City Summer by the River festival) but Phil Willmott’s double bills of free outdoor theatre seem eternal and unaffected by the notionally shifting landscape around them. ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ is the family-friendly opener; ‘King Arthur’ – adaptated from Sir Thomas Malory – is longer and fancier. As ever, the shows are free.
Jordan Seavey's look at life in 'post-gay' America is coming to Finborough Theatre after a premiere off-Broadway. It's an intricately structured play that shows that homophobia and self-hatred haven't gone away, even if its protagonists' path centres on the more universal experience of falling in and out of love in 21st century America.
Playwright Chris Bush has penned an eclectic span of works including the provocative Theatr Clwyd show 'The Assassination of Katie Hopkins'. So her version of Shakespeare's wild, surreal romance 'Pericles' is an exciting prospect. It'll be staged at the National Theatre with a huge community cast of amateur actors from across London.
For her third Donmar revival of one of the works of the late Brian Friel, Lyndsey Turner picks 1979’s ‘Aristocrats’, which follows the three children of the once-imposing Judge O'Donnell as they return home to Ballbeg Hall for a wedding to find that things have gone into dramatic decline.
The summer wouldn't be complete without the Open Air Theatre's traditional big musical blowout, and this looks to be a real treat: the first major London revival in a decade for Howard Ashman and Alan Menken camp horror comedy musical about a hapless florist who raises a vicious plant that feats on human flesh. Drag queen Vicky Vox (formerly of pop group DWV) as the terrifying plant Audrey II.
Well this is undoubtedly a big deal: the Globe's talismanic former artistic director Mark Rylance returns to his old theatre to star as the villainous Iago in Shakespeare's great tragedy 'Othello', opposite ‘Moonlight’s André Holland as the Moor of Venice.
Also at the Globe this month: check out Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm’s intriguing all-female ‘Emilia’.