The month ahead: April

Spring is finally here, the nights are getting longer and the days hopefully warmer. It’s hard to believe it’s April already but there are lots of exciting things coming up this month!

First up later this week is a trip to the Soho Theatre to see Mouthpiece. This story of an unlikely friendship won rave reviews when it premiered at the Traverse Theatre last year and explores issues around class and culture.

Next weekend it’s time for the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for some of my favourite shows from the past year, including The Inheritance, Come From Away and Summer and Smoke.

April sees the return of one of my favourite actresses and human beings, Dame Maggie Smith, to the stage after a 12-year absence. She’ll be playing Brunhilde Pomsel, the secretary of Joseph Goebbels, in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre and I can’t wait to see it!

Taking a break from London, I’ll be heading back to my local theatre, Colchester’s Mercury Theatre to see the legendary Ian McKellen On Stage. To celebrate his 80th birthday, Ian McKellen bringing his solo show to theatres around the country and will be talking Shakespeare, Tolkien and more.

One of the shows I’m most looking forward to seeing this year is All My Sons at the Old Vic. Starring two heroes from my childhood, Sally Field and Bill Pullman, Arthur Miller’s drama is a story of love, loss and betrayal. And it’s Sally Field and Bill Pullman. Enough said.

Bearing in mind until about a month ago I’d never been to the Bunker Theatre, I’m certainly making up for lost time. I’ll be returning to one of my new favourite theatres to see the award-winning Funeral Flowers, which combines the spoken word with live floristry to highlight the reality of vulnerable young women left to grow up in the British care system.

Next up it’s something a little different, and I’ll be visiting the Southbank’s Underbelly Festival to see the Little Death Club, which describes itself as the “darkest, funniest most debauched kabarett club this side of Berlin.” The cabaret features Queen of Weimar punk kabarett Bernie Dieter, disgruntled mime Josh Glanc, gender-bending contortionist and aerialist Beau Sargent and hair-hanging supremo Fancy Chance (you can read my interview with Fancy here).

I’ll then be paying my first visit to the Rose Playhouse to see Twelfth Night. St Albans-based company OVO presents a modern take on Shakespeare’s classic and this musical version, which is set on a cruise liner in the 1920s, features music from the likes of Britney, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Finally I’ll be ending the month with a two-show day, first up seeing Downstate at the National Theatre, a hard-hitting play by Bruce Norris about child abuse; before heading to the Pleasance to see Neck or Nothing, a comedy which aims to shine a light on men’s mental health.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

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