GROUNDHOG DAY Leads August's Top 10 New London Shows
London is never short of theatre temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From the new Groundhog Day musical and Shakespeare in a department store to a highly anticipated Branagh performance, here are some of this month's most eye-catching openings. Don't forget to check back for BroadwayWorld's reviews...
1. Groundhog Day, Old Vic
Can the dream team repeat history? Tim Minchin, Matthew Warchus, Peter Darling and Rob Howell, the creative forces behind smash hit Matilda the Musical, have reunited for this new musical version of the Bill Murray-led movie. Danny Rubin supplies the book, and Andy Karl, Carlyss Peer and Eugene McCoy star.
2. The Entertainer, Garrick Theatre
Kenneth Branagh steps into Sir Laurence Olivier's shoes, once again, as he takes on the iconic role of music hall performer Archie Rice in John Osborne's play. The cast also features Greta Scacchi, Sophie McShera, Phil Dunster and Gawn Grainger, directed by Rob Ashford.
3. Yerma, Young Vic
Australian iconoclast Simon Stone promises a bold new take on Lorca's tragic study of a woman driven to despair by her inability to have children. Billie Piper leads, along with Brendan Cowell, Maureen Beattie, Charlotte Randle, John MacMillan and Thealissa Teixeira. Read Brendan Cowell's blog here
4. Allegro, Southwark Playhouse
Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1947 musical finally receives its European premiere, courtesy of Thom Southerland and Danielle Tarento - the successful duo behind the recent Titanic, Grey Gardens and Grand Hotel. The cast features Gary Tushaw, Katie Bernstein, Emily Bull, David Delve, Julia J Nagle, Dylan Turner, Susan Travers and Steve Watts.
5. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, National Theatre
Following a storming Edinburgh Fringe run and UK tour, Lee Hall's adaptation of Alan Warner's The Sopranos - telling the story of six teenage choristers on the rampage - arrives in London. Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone is at the helm, with music arranged and supervised by Martin Lowe (Once).
6. 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Shakespeare's Globe
Kneehigh's lauded, tragicomic adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's novella features music (Stu Barker), dancing and puppetry to help illuminate a forgotten story: American soldiers descending on Devon in 1944, and subsequently killed during rehearsals for the D-Day landings. Globe head Emma Rice directs.
7. They Drink It In The Congo, Almeida Theatre
Adam Brace's provocative new play features a well-meaning Brit trying to organise a festival to raise awareness of war in the Congo. Michael Longhurst directs Kirsty Besterman, Fiona Button, Richie Campbell, Sidney Cole, Tosin Cole, Roger Evans, Richard Goulding, Joan Iyiola, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Pamela Nomvete, Richard Pepple and Sule Rimi.
8. The Secret Garden, Ambassadors Theatre
Over 300 young performers make their West End debut in this family-friendly Spring Version musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved book. Music from Lucy Simon, book Marsha Norman, choreography Jamie Neale and musical direction Richard Baker. Read director Ruperts Hands' blog here
9. Much Ado About Nothing, The reFASHIONed Theatre, Selfridges
Even those who've had their fill of Shakespeare this year might be tempted by the prospect of drama in a department store. As well as the pop-up production, by company The Faction, there'll be special musical acts, a sneak peek at development and rehearsals, and workshops from RADA.
10. Unfaithful, Found111
The latest visitors to London's hippest - and cosiest - new pop-up venue are Niamh Cusack, Sean Campion, Ruta Gedmintas and Harry Potter alum Matthew Lewis. Adam Penford directs them in Owen McCafferty's blackly comic new play about what it means to be lovers, partners and people.
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan