Book Now For the Best Plays of the Summer 2018

There’s a flurry of new productions about to start at the theatre. Here’s our guide to what to book this summer:

My Name is Lucy Barton at the Bridge Theatre (2 – 23 June 2018)

Rona Munro has adapted novelist Elizabeth Strout’s much-loved novel into a 37-page marathon monologue. American actress Laura Linney, who is fabulous in everything she does from Frasier to the The Squid and the Whale, is taking on the daunting challenge of this one-woman play about a writer who is haunted by her childhood. It centres on an encounter with her mother, who she hasn’t seen for years, as she, Lucy, recovers in hospital after an operation. Richard Eyre directs.

The Bridge London, 3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG

Allelujah! also at the Bridge Theatre (11 July – 28 Sept 2018)

Also showing at the striking new Bridge Theatre is a new Alan Bennett play. Nicholas Hytner directs what promises to be a sharply funny take on the NHS in crisis via scenes from The Beth, an old-fashioned hospital on the edge of the Pennines threatened with closure. 

The Bridge London, 3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar  (4 June 28 July 2018)

Credit: David Stewart

David Harrower’s new adaptation of Muriel Spark’s novel. Lia Williams is to play the unorthodox Scottish teacher – a role made famous by Maggie Smith in the film – who takes a group of girls under her wing, with tragic consequences. Polly Findlay directs. NB. All sold out, but more tickets are released every Monday at 12pm on the Donmar’s website. Sign up here to receive a klaxon reminder alert when additional tickets go on sale.  

Donmar Warehose, 41 Earlham St,  WC2H 9LX

Fun Home at the Young Vic (18 June – 1 Sept 2018)

A musical version of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel. Already a multi-Tony award-winning Broadway hit, this inventive musical follows Alison over her life, from her childhood in a funeral home to her time in college and her coming out. According to the Huffington Post, it is “musical theatre at its best.”

Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo SE1 8LZ

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at the Noël Coward Theatre (23 June – 8 Sept 2018)

Irish actor Aidan Turner, best known as the heartthrob in Poldark, is to play the unhinged Republican terrorist in Michael Grandage’s revival of Martin McDonagh’s 2001, blackly comic splatterfest. This surreally funny play casts a satirical eye over the moral blindness of terrorism, but it is not for faint of heart.

Noël Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4AU 

The Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre (4 July – 8 Aug 2018)

Sam Mendes directs this epic drama that tells the story of the Lehman Brothers from its inception in 1844 to the financial crash 163 years later. Stefano Massini’s vast and poetic play about three brothers who emigrated from Bavaria to New York and the colossus of a company they created, originally opened at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 2015. Ben Powers’ English version unfolds over three parts in a single evening and stars Adam Godley, Ben Miles and Simon Russell Beale as three generations of Lehman brothers. Be warned, tickets for this show are being snapped up fast. 

National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX

A Monster Calls at The Old Vic (7 July – 25 Aug 2018)

Sally Cookson, who has directed dazzling productions of Jane Eyre and Peter Pan, has turned her attention to Patrick Ness’s piercing novel A Monster Calls, about a boy dealing with his mother’s cancer. It is currently showing at the Bristol Old Vic (until 16 June) before transferring to London. For ages ten+.

The Old Vic, The Cut, SE1 8NB

King Lear at the Duke of York’s Theatre (11 July – 3 Nov 2018)

Ian McKellen got a flurry of four and five star reviews for his superb performance as Lear in Chichester last year. Jonathan Munby’s production is now heading for the West End, with Sinéad Cusack reprising her role as Kent. Shakespeare’s King Lear will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally on Thursday 27th September with National Theatre Live.

Duke of York’s Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4BG

Pinter at the Pinter (6 Sept – 23 Feb 2018)

Credit: Martin-Rosenbaum

Martin Freeman, Jane Horrocks, Tamsin Greig, Danny Dyer and David Suchet are among the starry line up bringing all Harold Pinter’s one-act plays to the West End. The ambitious season, staged by the Jamie Lloyd Company and marking the 10th anniversary of Pinter’s death, will see twenty plays from all periods of Pinter’s writing life – including The Lover and Moonlight – staged over 24 weeks.  Patrick Marber, Jamie Lloyd and Lyndsey Turner are among the directors.

Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, SW1Y 4DN 

— Charity Crewe
30th May 2018