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Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Hymn; Relatively Speaking; Good; 101 Dalmations

07 January, 2021 — By Lucy Popescu

Adrian Lester. Photo: Flickr/Merlin’s Myth and Magic

AS we enter another lockdown and vaccinations begin to be rolled out, theatres are hopeful that they will be able to reopen in the spring. Here’s a selection of shows to look forward to.

The Almeida will present the world premiere of Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti, starring Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani, directed by Blanche Mcintyre. Benny and Gil meet at a funeral. Benny is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil longs to fulfil his potential. They form a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives they realise that true courage comes in different forms. Featuring music from Gil and Benny’s lives, Chakrabarti’s searching, soulful new play asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son. Visit:

Relatively Speaking, Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy of mistaken identities, will be at Jermyn Street Theatre from May 5. Greg only met Ginny a month ago, but he knows they’re meant for each other. When she announces that she’s going to visit her parents, Greg decides this is the moment to ask her father for his daughter’s hand. Discovering a scribbled address, he follows her to Buckinghamshire where he finds Philip and Sheila enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning breakfast in the garden, but the problem is – they’re not Ginny’s parents. Visit:


• In April, David Tennant stars in Good, CP Taylor’s powerful, political play, directed by Dominic Cooke at the Harold Pinter Theatre. As the world faces the Second World War, John Halder, a decent, intelligent, music-loving German professor, finds himself swept along in a movement that crescendos towards an unthinkable finale. Good is a warning for our times. Visit:

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre plan to reopen on May 15 with their postponed musical version of 101 Dalmations (based on Dodie Smith’s iconic story) written by Zinnie Harris and Douglas Hodge. Timothy Sheader directs with puppetry created and directed by Toby Olié. Visit:

• Also in May, Leah Townley’s production of Love, Genius and a Walk by Gay Walley will run at Theatro Technis. Gustav Mahler, world-renowned composer and conductor, wants his wife to be his muse, but Alma desires a closeness that he cannot give. Mahler turns to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud for guidance. At the same time, a modern couple’s life mirrors Alma and Mahler’s, except here she is the artist who works all the time and is married to a commercially oriented husband. Visit:

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, written by Lee Hall, directed by Clint Dyer and starring Arinzé Kene arrives in the West End in June. From the hills of rural Jamaica, armed with a rare talent, Marley applied himself with resolute determination to achieve international acclaim for his prophetic musical message – a gospel of love and unity. With unlimited access to Marley’s catalogue of music, a euphoric company of performers and reggae musicians unite to bring this triumphant tale of passion, political unrest and progress from Trenchtown to the West End. Visit:


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