DON'T MISS: Computer-generated Musical Leads This Week's Top 10 New London Shows, February 29 2016
London is never short of theatre temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a computer-created musical to tabletop Shakespeare, here are some of this week's most eye-catching openings. Don't forget to check back for BroadwayWorld's reviews, and if you need more ticket-booking inspiration, here is last week's round-up.
1. Beyond the Fence, Arts Theatre
Cynical rehash or a glimpse of the future? As chronicled in Sky Arts documentary Computer Says Show, this new musical was created by a combination of pioneering software, which analysed hit shows, and human intervention from experienced duo Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor. Luke Sheppard directs.
2. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric Hammersmith
Filter Theatre's anarchic take on the Bard features superheroes, food fights, raucous musical numbers and - in an added layer of metatheatricality - a no-show Sir Ian McKellen. Sean Holmes and Stef O'Driscoll direct a production that serves as accessible Shakespearean introduction and equally invigorating rebirth.
3. Welcome Home, Captain Fox!, Donmar Theatre
Jean Anouilh meets Billy Wilder as Anthony Weigh transports the French playwright's tale of lost identity to 1950s America. The cast includes Francesca Annis, Rory Keenan, Katherine Kingsley and Fenella Woolgar, and Blanche McIntyre directs.
4. What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, Soho Theatre
Luke Wright's Fringe First Award-winning piece tackles shattered friendship, class warfare and the hollow reality of the New Labour dream. This poetic coming-of-age monologue from a talented spoken word artist has searing political resonance.
5. Forced Entertainment Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, Barbican
Macbeth is a cheese grater, Pericles a light bulb and Hamlet a bottle of ink. Over six days, Experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment retells all 36 of Shakespeare's plays using everyday household objects - an exercise that, paradoxically, draws out the work's humanity.
6. Terra, The Print Room
The burgeoning dance programme at this hot new venue continues with the world premiere of the final part of Hubert Essakow's trilogy exploring the elements. Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri has written a poem to accompany the work, and composer Jean Michel-Bernard provides a filmic soundscape.
7. Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Lyric Theatre
The smash hit is back in the West End for a limited season following its Apollo run and national tour. A new musical dreamed up on the spot, every single night, with past creations including Baldy and the Beast and The Lyin' King.
8. Single Spies, Richmond Theatre
Nicholas Farrell, Belinda Lang and David Robb lead this new national tour of Alan Bennett's classic comedy. It centres on two members of the notorious Cambridge Five spy ring, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, and features a memorable interrogation by The Queen. Rachel Kavanaugh directs.
9. The Cause, Jermyn Street Theatre
Jeremy James's drama, presented by ACS Random, intertwines three stories related to the outbreak of the First World War: the uncovering of a secret in Oxford, and revolutionary plots in Belgrade and Budapest. Andrew Shepherd directs this knotty piece.
10. Merit, Finborough Theatre
Alexandra Wood's gripping new play, set against the backdrop of economically devastated Spain, asks challenging moral questions about wealth, austerity and the choices we make to ensure the survival of ourselves and our loved ones. Karen Ascoe and Ellie Turner star.