Ian McKellen on Stage, London and national tour, 25th January to 15th September
Ian McKellen, below, marks his 80th birthday with a tour of 80 theatres throughout Britain, raising money as he goes for the disadvantaged, as well as for new theatre facilities. It’s an incredible undertaking, like Ken Dodd on tour, with dates in the amateur theatres, and a special birthday performance on 25th May in his home town of Bolton, where his father was borough engineer. He starts in January at his local arts centre, The Space on the Isle of Dogs, and ends on Orkney, taking in the Edinburgh Festival and National Theatre.
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other National Theatre, 16th January to 2nd March
The Australian film star Cate Blanchett makes a National Theatre stage debut in Martin Crimp’s “12 variations” on Samuel Richardson’s epistolary novel Pamela. Katie Mitchell directs Blanchett and Stephen Dillane in scenes of sexual domination and resistance: “Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens. Show me how much power you really have.”
The Daughter-in-Law Arcola Theatre, 10th January to 2nd February
After a critically acclaimed run in the Arcola’s studio, Jack Gamble’s revival of DH Lawrence’s drama, never staged in the author’s lifetime, returns to the Arcola’s larger stage in Dalston. The play sets the struggle of a newly-married couple against those of a mining community on strike in the Nottinghamshire of Lawrence’s youth. Matthew Biddulph and Ellie Nunn are Joe and Minnie Gascoyne, with Veronica Roberts as Mrs Gascoyne senior.