Having been under a San Francisco rock for most of this month...I'm behind in my updates. But here's a little taste of the British spring blowing into New York.
Think a bit of refreshing Ribena.
NTLive King Lear (May 1, May 31): In the Year of Lears (4 major productions in New York that I know of), the National Theatre is offering up a modern-dress version directed by Sam Mendes and starring Simon Russell Beale. There are a couple of screening dates for May in New York. I want to put a bullet in Lear's head at this point so I'm at minus 700 Kitsons for this. But I've heard through the British twitter grapevine that this is a great production and worth seeing.
Playing with Grown Ups (Apr. 29-May 18): Brits Off-Broadway. Theatre 503 is a company that develops new works and has been home to the works of Dennis Kelly (Matilda), Duncan MacMillen (Lungs), and it is where The Mountaintop by Katori Hall started out. This production from Theatre 503 is written by Hannah Patterson and directed by Hannah Eidinow. It addresses marriage, middle-age, babies, "having it all" and not and challenges some pre-conceived notions about motherhood. It stars Alan Cox from last season's Brits Off-Broadway favorite, Cornelius. Feels like it might be an interesting piece to see in tandem with The Village Bike (see below) in taking a long, hard look at modern views of women and motherhood. 7 Kitsons.
The Lovesong of Alfred J. Hitchcock (May 1-25): Brits Off-Broadway. A play about the inner life of Alfred Hitchcock which explores the mind of the film genius. Written by David Rudkin first as a radio play and now adapted into a stage drama, and directed by Jack McNamara. As much of a film lover as I am, I'm not quite feeling this one, though there's a lovely article on the writer in the New York Times. 3 Kitsons.
Chalk Farm (May 21-Jun. 8): Brits Off-Broadway. I caught this two-hander about a single mother and her son during the London riots by Kieran Hurley and AJ Taudevin at Edinburgh Fringe. Sadly it was in the worst venue (hot, hard to see, and full of distracting noise from outside). I did not quite connect to the material at the time but I know many who did. I'm planning to revisit it in better conditions because I think the subject matter is important. It presented a thoughtful dialogue about single mothers, economic hardships, and class. 6 Kitsons.
The Village Bike (May 22 onward) : This play received many accolades when it opened in London in 2011 at the Royal Court starring Romola Garai. Penelope Skinner's play is about a randy, pregnant schoolteacher who wants more sex than her husband. It is being staged in New York at MCC with Greta Gerwig starring, in her New York stage debut. It is directed by Mildly Bitter fave Sam Gold. I was uninterested in this casting until they announced the rest of the cast which includes Jason Butler Harner as the husband, Cara Seymour, Max Baker, and Scott Shepherd as the bike shop worker who catches the schoolteacher's eye. As one of the new writers of note coming out of the UK, I'm pleased that we'll get a chance to see one of her plays. 8 Kitsons.
As Previously Reported:
Macbeth (May 31-Jun. 22): Hope you've gotten your tickets already as Kenneth Branagh sweeps in on the broomstick of the three witches for a dirty, dark, and intense production of Macbeth at the Park Avenue Armory.
The Cripple of Inishmaan (Apr.
12- Jul. 20): I told you this Michael Grandage production starring Daniel Radcliffe was well worth seeing and now the rave reviews are out. Smugly sitting here saying I told you so.
Listen to the Maxamoo podcast for more theater recommendations around town.