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The Best Theatre in London this June
Image Credit: courtesy of Theatre Ad Infinitum

The Best Theatre in London this June

30 May 2017 Eva de Valk

It’s election month! As much as we’d like to suggest taking a break from political news at your local theatre, it seems said theatre's had other ideas. So we invite you to sit back, relax and rehash current events through the medium of the performing arts.

Let’s start with something for the musical lovers: lucky for you, there’s lots happening in your corner of the theatre world this June. First of all, there’s the revival of an old favourite as Theatre Royal Stratford East hosts The Who’s Tommy. With a large cast, live band and creative use of audience aids like BSL interpretation and captioning, this promises to be quite the audio-visual spectacle. A more unlikely, but equally rock ‘n’ roll, newcomer this month is Meat Loaf. Before you say something along the lines of, ‘oh yikes, another jukebox musical’, Bat Out of Hell (the album) was actually developed out of a musical that composer Jim Steinman wrote three years earlier. So Bat Out of Hell (the musical), opening at the London Coliseum later this month, is basically a return to its original form. In many ways it looks and sounds suspiciously like We Will Rock You – hello dystopian future setting and crazy hair – but it racked up an impressive slew of five star reviews in Manchester earlier this year. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to hear I Would Do Anything for Love belted out by a full West End ensemble?  


Image Credit: Specular
 
Now for the big question: are there any new musicals this month that are not based on seventies concept albums? Yes: opening at the Donmar Warehouse is the enticingly titled The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall's Relationship with Kids Company. Or just Committee, for short. A musical with lyrics adapted from evidence session transcripts seems likely to lack the sex appeal of a rock opera, but we’re definitely curious as to what the result will look and sound like.
 
If you would prefer to know what you’re letting yourself in for this month, you can always count on Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, who will be holding court at the Underbelly Festival. Under the motto ‘let’s go backwards together’, Al will be setting the world to rights again in the space of an evening. He’s in town a mere week after the general election, so there will undoubtedly be plenty of new material to work with.


Image courtesy of Al Murray
 
Speaking of politics, the Lyric Hammersmith has the UK premiere of Ferdinand von Schirach’s play Terror, which is basically an immersive courtroom drama. Defying orders, a pilot shoots down a hijacked plane which is about to crash into a football stadium. Now, the pilot is on trial and the audience has to decide what the verdict is. So much for just relaxing in your seat after a stressful day at work…  Another new show that’s sure to provide food for thought is Light at Battersea Arts Centre. Dystopian futures seems to be a common feature this June, ands this particular one is based on absolute surveillance through implants. Expect darkness, physical theatre and ‘pulsating soundscapes’ – so both clubbers and adventurous theatregoers should have fun here. 


Image courtesy of Theatre Ad Infinitum
 
Iris Theatre are also back in business this month, which means that the garden behind Saint Paul’s Church in Covent Garden will be bustling with activity again. If you’re looking for some light relief, there’s family show Freckles, or stick with this month’s recurring theme of death and destruction with Macbeth.
 
And last but not least: the RSC is back in town! Their 2015 sold-out success Queen Anne, starring Romola Garai and Emma Cunniffe, is coming to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It has all the regular features of a political drama – betrayal, blackmail, etcetera – but with the advantage that it’s set in the 18th century, so that should make it feel slightly less like you’re watching the evening news.
 
The Who’s Tommy runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East from June 7 – 17. Tickets from £12.
 
Bat Out of Hell runs at the London Coliseum from June 5 – July 22. Tickets from £65.
 
Committee runs at the Donmar Warehouse from June 23 – August 12. Tickets from £10.
 
Al Murray: The Pub Landlord's Summer Saloon runs at Underbelly Festival from June 16-17. Tickets from £27.
 
Terror runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from June 14 – July 15. Tickets from £15.
 
Light runs at Battersea Arts Centre from May 31 – June 17. Tickets from £15.
 
Freckles is on at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, on June 2. Macbeth is on from June 21 – July 29. Tickets from £12.
 
Queen Anne is on at Theatre Royal Haymarket from June 30 – September 30. Tickets from £15.

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