Saints, revolutionaries and Oscar Wilde: the best theatre to see in October

Prospect's pick of the boards
September 12, 2017

Young Marx

Bridge Theatre, 18th October to 31st December

London’s newest theatre is the brainchild of former National Theatre bosses Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, a purpose-built steel and oak warehouse right by Tower Bridge. It opens with Richard Bean’s comedy of Karl Marx on the razzle in Soho in 1850, mingling with creditors, spies and rival revolutionaries. Hytner reunites the NT creative team behind his hit One Man, Two Guvnors. Rory Kinnear lets rip as Marx while Oliver Chris as Engels despairs on the sidelines and Nancy Carroll as Jenny van Westphalen, Marx’s aristocratic wife, toys with prospective seducers.

Saint George and the Dragon

National Theatre, 4th October to 2nd December

Rory Mullarkey, a talented 30-year-old playwright, has a name suggestive of uproar and malarkey. His new play is likely to be no less playfully subversive than his others: George, a wandering knight and freedom fighter, hits on a run-down village (and a damsel in distress), wins a fight and re-builds a community. But cracks develop. John Heffernan, who’s played Robert Oppenheimer for the RSC, leads a large cast directed by Lyndsey Turner.

A Woman of No Importance

Vaudeville Theatre, 6th October to 30th December

This lesser-known example of Oscar Wilde’s syntheses of wit, high style and melodrama heralds a new company formed by director Dominic Dromgoole to celebrate Wilde over the coming year. Anne Reid plays Lady Hunstanton (“Most women in London, nowadays, seem to furnish their rooms with nothing but orchids, foreigners, and French novels”) and Eve Best, Mrs Arbuthnot. Other Wilde plays and talks follow in the New Year.