Plus The Cherry Orchard and the Greenwich + Docklands International Festivalby Michael Coveney / July 15, 2020 / Leave a comment
Hamlet/The Cherry Orchard, Theatre Royal, Windsor, dates to be confirmed, August to September
The first “live” theatre since March features Ian McKellen as both Hamlet (50 years after he first played him) and the decrepit retainer Firs in Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard. If theatres open for business in July or August, this season, directed by Sean Mathias, will be first off the starting blocks. Jenny Seagrove is Gertrude and Ranevskaya; Missy Malek a young Ophelia. McKellen, 81, is easily the oldest actor to play Hamlet, beating Frank Benson who was 72 on his farewell tour in 1930.
Six, Livenation.co.uk, 4th August to 12th September
The 75-minute musical in which Henry VIII’s six queens rock out has been a hit on the Edinburgh Fringe and in London, but fell victim to the pandemic before its Broadway opening in March. It returns as a drive-in live performance with band at 12 sites across the UK including Bristol, Edinburgh, Bolton, Leeds, London, Newmarket and Cheltenham. You can picnic and party with up to seven people in each of 300 vehicles allowed per show.
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Various outdoor venues, 28th August to 12th September
Live theatre will mostly restart outdoors, and there are several al fresco festivals confirmed for the late summer and autumn, notably the 25th anniversary Greenwich + Docklands celebrations. Spread through streets and parks, the programme includes durational installations celebrating the NHS, circus and street theatre, and a dance programme at Canary Wharf with distancing integrated into the performance.