Plus a gender bending Troilus and Cressida at the RSCby Michael Coveney / September 19, 2018 / Leave a comment
A Very Very Very Dark Matter Bridge Theatre, London, 12th October to 6th January
Jim Broadbent, an expert in making sinister funny, plays Hans Christian Andersen in Martin McDonagh’s new play, so it’s a fair bet the portrayal will be different from Danny Kaye’s child-friendly troubadour in the 1952 movie. There’s a dark secret in the attic of his Copenhagen townhouse, and it’s not Thumbelina. McDonagh’s on a roll after Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Nicholas Hytner, who put on McDonagh’s The Pillowman with Broadbent at the National Theatre, here casts Elizabeth Berrington and Phil Daniels.
I’m Not Running National Theatre, 2nd October to 31st January
David Hare’s new play, his 18th for the National, tackles politics, belief and the Labour Party in the story of an inspirational, campaigning doctor crossing paths with an old boyfriend, a Labour stalwart. This classic Hare subject features Siân Brooke, Alex Hassell and Joshua McGuire, and is directed by Australian Neil Armfield, who has had a collaborative relationship with the playwright over four decades.
Troilus and Cressida Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 12th October to 17th November
Gregory Doran directs the first RSC mainstage performance since 2006 of this bitter, war-torn love story during the siege of Troy. Some big RSC names—Desmond Barrit as Pandarus, Suzanne Bertish as Agamemnon, Amanda Harris as Aeneas and Oliver Ford Davies as Nestor—return to the company. Gavin Fowler and Amber James (above) play the lovers. Most enticing in a 50/50 gender balanced cast is the prospect of bird-like veteran Sheila Reid as the foul-mouthed Thersites.