Jade Anouka as Queen Margaret © Lee Baxter

Pinter shorts and Shakespeare's bitter hag—the best theatre in September 2018

Plus the Tricycle relaunches as the Kiln
August 21, 2018
Holy Sh!t

Kiln Theatre, 5th September to 6th October

The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London, has been closed for two years for an overhaul and re-build. Now re-named the Kiln, the venue’s distinctive scaffolded courtyard auditorium has been removed to provide a more flexible open stage arena. Artistic director Indhu Rubasingham launches the new season with Holy Sh!t by Alexis Zegerman, a dark comedy in which family, faith and friendship are stretched to breaking point as parents move heaven and earth to get their daughter into the local Church of England school.

The Lover/The Collection

Harold Pinter Theatre, 13th September to 20th October

Two short television comedies from the 1960s herald a six-month season of all 20 of Harold Pinter’s one-act plays at the theatre which bears his name. Both The Lover and The Collection have stage pedigree as studies of sex and supremacy in the suburbs, and director Jamie Lloyd’s season of Pinter at the Pinter will incorporate A Slight Ache, A Kind of Alaska and the restaurant satire Celebration. The actors include Tamsin Greig, Jane Horrocks, Rupert Graves, Celia Imrie, Ron Cook, Maggie Steed, Martin Freeman and Paapa Essiedu.

Queen Margaret

Royal Exchange, Manchester, 14th September to 6th October

Shakespeare’s Margaret of Anjou is a formidable, but marginal, character in the Henry VI trilogy and Richard III, yet altogether she has more lines than King Lear. Playwright Jeanie O’Hare places this queen of curses—described as the “she-wolf of France” and “a hateful, bitter hag”—centre-stage, with her lines, and her rage, intact. Jade Anouka plays an avenging political whirlwind dissatisfied with her role as a figure of powerless feminine suffering.