A few plays to book now to avoid disappointment

Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

If you enjoy your P.G. Woodhouse, you should book to see Stephen Mangan playing aristocratic fool Bertie Wooster and Matthew MacFadyen as his dutiful valet Jeeves at the Duke of York’s theatre.

Stephen Mangan in rehearsal

Stephen Mangan in rehearsal

For anyone still not familiar with Mangan and MacFadyen, they are both accomplished actors.  More recently, Mangan was in Birthday at the Royal Court and in the last London revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic.  He has made a number of appearances on TV and you might have seen him in Episodes, or Just a Minute and Have I got News for You.

MacFadyen is a BAFTA Award-winning actor who was cast opposite Kim Cattrall  in Private Lives in 2010.   You might also recognise him as an MI5 Intelligence Officer in the BBC Spooks.   He starred alongside Keira Knightley and Jude Law in Joe Wright’s adaptation of “Anna Karenina” in 2012.

Sean Foley, a veteran of the West End, will direct the play.

Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense:  30 Oct. 2013 – 08 March 2014

Fortune’s Fool

The Old Vic is bringing us Mike Poulton’s adaptation of Turgenev’s funny play, Fortune’s Fool.  The Tony Award nominated play was first produced at the Music Box theatre in New York in 2002.  Lucy Baileyand will direct the play which brings together Iain Glen and Richard McCabe.  More recently Glen gave a fantastic performance in Longing at Hampstead Theatre and is also known for his roles in Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones while McCabe has just finished playing Harold Wilson, in Peter Morgan’s The Audience.

Fortune’s Fool: 6 December 2013 – 22 February 2014

Royal Court

For me, three plays that stand out at the Royal Court for the coming months will be Let The Right One In which is a stage adaptation by Jack Thorne of the film by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  The play was initially shown at the Dundee Rep, transferred to the National Theatre of Scotland and is now coming to London after getting fantastic reviews.

Let The Right One In:  29 November – 21 December 2013

My second choice would be The Mistress Contract by Abi Morgan (The Hour, and the films Brick Lane, The Iron Lady, and Shame).  The Mistress Contract is based on a real unconventional couple and the contract that kept them bound together to this day.  The play will be directed by the Royal Court’s Artistic Director, Vicky Featherstone.

The Mistress Contract :  30 January – 8 March 2014

If you like Becket, then I would highly recommend Not i, Footfalls, Rockaby.  Lisa Dwan returns to the Royal Court Theatre to perform her one-woman Samuel Beckett trilogy.  Unfortunately, she will only be performing this feat for a few nights and there are very few tickets available.

Not i, Footfalls, Rockaby:  9 – 18 January 2014

Emil and the Detective

If you are looking to take your children to the theatre and are in London for the festive season, the National Theatre’s Christmas production is Emil and the Detective.  Join young Emil as he says goodbye to his mother, leaves his small town and sets off on a journey that will change his life. The play is suitable for 7+ though I might hold back on taking teenagers.  As with most theatre for children, what suits the 7-year-old won’t appeal to the “wordly” 12 year old.  If my children are anything to go by…