A ripping yarn of mischief and folly, Three Men in a Boat will be making waves at the Arts Theatre 21-24 January. Based on the story by Jerome K Jerome, this comedy caper follows three chaps on a boating holiday in Edwardian England – said to have inspired the Pythons and Morecambe and Wise. This lark-filled production by the Original Theatre Company promises music hall singing, a dog and some natty blazers.
Things get a little heavier with Henry V, 4-7 February. Shakespeare’s famous history play, following the young king as he battles to capture France without losing England in the process, is the latest project to emerge from Cambridge University’s Marlowe Society, who reliably deliver stunning, intelligent shows.
Crime fiction fans, don’t miss the world stage premier of Dead Simple 16-21 February, written by bestselling author Peter James and described by the Daily Mail as “one of the most fiendishly clever crime fiction plotters”.
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons runs 24-28 February, following a couple living with the ghosts of the Second World War. Then skip back to the First World War with Oh What A Lovely War, 2-7 March, for a musical, satirical and ultimately poignant reflection of the events of 100 years ago. This one comes to us prior to a West End run and stars Corrie’s Wendi Peters and Ian Reddington (Corrie, Eastenders).
Another star treads the boards 9-14 March in The King’s Speech featuring Jason Donovan in the West End show that inspired the acclaimed film.
Having experienced the theatrical phenomenon that is The Woman in Black on previous tours, Edition can highly recommend this as one of the most thrilling plays you’re likely to encounter. It returns, in all its creepy, minimalist excellence, 16-21 March.
Thriller fans get a further helping of romance and mystery in Rebecca, 23-28 March. Responsible for one of the most atmospheric opening lines in literature, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”, Daphne du Maurier’s Cornish masterpiece follows a young bride as she tries to step out from the shadow of her husband’s glamorous first wife.
Footlights return with their spring sketch show on 17 and 18 April, followed by A Mad World My Masters, a wild updating of Middleton’s Jacobean comedy by the Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Theatre, 21-25 April.
Young theatregoers won’t want to miss Room on the Broom (5-9 May) which flies in after a run at the West End, or The Tiger Who Came to Tea (10-13 May), based on the much-loved book by Judith Kerr.
Then, who doesn’t love a bit of Wilde? Especially when it stars David Suchet (Poirot) as Lady Bracknell. Look out your best behaviour and dandiest spats for The Importance of Being Earnest, 18-23 May. And The English Touring Opera return with three lavish new productions, 26-30 May: La Bohème, The Siege of Calais and The Wildman of the West Indies.
Constellations (16-20 June), about free will, love and multiple universes, follows a ‘pitch perfect’ West End run where it earned five stars from Time Out. Then, see the horrors of war from the innocent eyes of two children in The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, 23-27 June, adapted from the book by John Boyne.
Also on stage this spring:
Cirque Berserk looks pretty incredible at Cambridge Corn Exchange, 20-22 February, and see the story of Charles Darwin unfold in The Origin of Species, at Cambridge Junction 14 March. We loved Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel at the Junction last year, so we’re glad to see it making a return on 28 March to perform another Regency tale with a twist, based on audience suggestions.
Don’t miss Equs at the ADC this January (27-31), about a boy whose troubled, oppressive childhood leads him to maim six horses one night. Religious and sexual themes prevail in this controversial play. As ever, there’s a high musical count, including The Witches of Eastwick (3-7 February), Rent (11-21 March) and Our House – the Madness musical – on 24-26 March.
There’s plenty of food for thought at the Corpus Playroom this season, including Les Justes (10-14 February), charting a group of young terrorists determined to bring liberty to their nation in 1905, and the philosophical Attempts on her Life, 24-28 February. Mischief on 25-28 March, about a celebrated actor now in a retirement home, also looks worth a watch.
Gothic drama reigns at the Mumford Theatre with a modern retelling of Dracula taking place 18 & 20 March, then a chance to see Jekyll & Hyde, 23-24 March. Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray follows on 28 April after a West End run.