2018 has just started and we’re already in for a treat. After the holidays with all its glorious food and family traditions, granny snoring softly on the sofa and Uncle Kyle telling us what exactly is wrong with the world, the tube and our mum’s bread sauce. We’re finally ready to embrace the New Year.
Just like a family reunion at Christmas, this year will bring us back some gems into the west end, we’ve missed dearly.
First off is CHICAGO! That baby’s turning 21 this year and what a better way to celebrate this with a revival in the West End. The host this time is the Phoenix Theatre right in the heart of the West End. Pre-sales are already on and we cannot wait for it to start.
After they dug their toes into Australia’s sandy beaches and got an eyeful of the beauty of Canada BAT OUT OF HELL is coming back to London. This Meatloaf and John Steinbeck love-child was years in the making and is now ready for its second run in the West End. This time, the Dominion Theatre will provide the perfect backdrop for this dark, fast paced Rock’n’Roll homage.
And like every family party, they all brought their better halves. If 2017 was the year of the plays, 2018 will carry on with this dynamic legacy.
Harold Pinter’s’ Birthday Party is going first and opening 9th Jan at the Harold Pinter Theatre. A star struck cast will help us transition into the New Year and it is going to be a blast. The setting of a rundown seaside boarding-house, a little birthday party is turned into a nightmare on the unexpected arrival of two sinister strangers. The play has been classified as a comedy of menace, characterised by Pinteresque elements such as ambiguous identity, confusions of time and place, and dark political symbolism.
The Vaudville is going straight on with its third play in their Oscar Wilde year, Lady Windermere’s Fan is opening on Friday (12th Jan) with a spectacular cast and just in time to beat that winter blues with some well-crafted dialogue and mean pointers. The story concerns Lady Windermere, who suspects that her husband is having an affair with another woman. She confronts him with it but although he denies it, he invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to his wife’s birthday ball. Angered by her husband’s supposed unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere decides to leave her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. The best-known line of the play sums up the central theme:
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
— Lord Darlington
Juliette Stevenson and Lia Williams are both back in the West End with another classic. After a sold out run at the Almeida, they are on for a limited run in the West End at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller, next to Goethe the most influential writer of the Weimar classicism, is bound to make our winter months unforgettable. Imagining the meeting of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment in the Tower. Watch those two powerful women circle each other in a tug of war that hasn’t yet met its match. Juliette Stevenson and Lia Williams are going to be spell bounding.