June Theatre | Theatre in London | Cheap Theatre
Frighteningly, we find ourselves at the half way point of 2016. “Where did those first six months go?!” we hear you cry. Unfortunately we have no answer for your troubled souls, but we do have the answer for the best performances to see this month.
The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre
Terrance Rattigan is undoubtedly one of Britain's most revered 20th century dramatists. His rich, knotty narratives and characters provide actors with some of the greatest roles in theatre. The quiet strength and resilience of Arthur Winslow. The surface-level stoic reflection of Crocker-Harris. And, in The Deep Blue Sea, the desperate internal struggles and longing for love of Hester Collyer.
For this current production Helen McCrory steps into the role of Hester in what will undoubtedly be one of the great performances of the summer.
Found by her neighbours moments after a failed suicide attempt, Hester searches for meaning in the breakdown of her marriage to a judge and love affair with a RAF pilot. Complex and character driven, The Deep Blue Sea is a chance to see one of Rattigan's finest works on the stage again.
Sunset at the Villa Thalia at the National Theatre
As per with the National Theatre, it has expertly programmed work reflecting on or influenced by current socio-political issues. On this occasion, with the EU referendum just around the corner, it presents Alex Kaye Campbell's new work exploring the impact of foreign influence, planned and unintentional, on a nation and its people.
Spanning ten years and filled with an expert cast (including Ben Miles, who deservedly won plaudits for his performance as Thomas Cromwell in the stage adaptation of Wolf Hall but for lots of us will forever be the mindless and lascivious Patrick from early 2000's sitcom Coupling), Sunset at the Villa Thalia is a funny, passionate and timely play.
Woyzeck at The Old Vic
At the tail-end of last year a film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. One of the breakthroughs of the movie was male lead, and Peckham boy, John Boyega who gave the evil forces of the galaxy a run for their money as reformed Stormtrooper Finn.
He has now been cast as the lead in Woyzeck, Georg Buchner's howling cry of rage against the brutal effects of warfare.
Sadly, despite what I mentioned earlier about forgetting time's eternal trudge through the present, Woyzeck isn't being performed until May 2017. However, tickets are available. And they will sell out. Book now to avoid disappointment.
Jay Foreman's Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children (and other funny stories) at Udderbelly
If the above options sound a little on the heavy side and you have little ones to consider, take a short jaunt up river to the Udderbelly and get your family tickets for Jay Foreman's Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children (and other funny stories). An Edinburgh Fringe sell out hit two years running, Jay Foreman cares not for the fine things in life – he likes sickable, revolting, disgusting and hilarious songs, poems and skits.
Compared by critics to the work of Roald Dahl, Jay Foreman's is a fantastic (and stinky) summer treat.
Sh*t-faced Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice at Udderbelly at Southbank Centre
If the above options sound a little on the heavy side and you don't have little ones to consider take a short jaunt up river to the Udderbelly and get your friends tickets for Sh*t-faced Shakespeare – the cult fringe hit that is taking the country by storm.
A straight-up performance of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice with a key difference – one of the cast, chosen at random earlier in the day and forced to booze through the afternoon, is blind drunk. Hilarious and unpredictable comedy.