As the eyes of the world turn towards London for the Olympics and venues begin their traditional summer maintenance shut-down, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s little to tempt people towards theatre. Look hard though and there’s some gems around the country to tempt you. Glen Pearce hunts down five shows to give you a break from the sporting spectacle.
Once upon a time, in ancient Britain, a very old King planned to divide his Kingdom between his three daughters. Set against the sweeping backdrop of pine trees in the picturesque heart of Rendlesham Forest, Red Rose Chain bring Shakespeare’s greatest tradedy to vivid life. Whether new to Shakespeare or are barmy about the Bard, this promises to be a production to remember.
Runs until August 26th
For some making it to London 2012 has been literally a matter of life and death and the struggle is not over yet. Full of sacrifice, tragedy and touching humour, these stories are brought to life with dynamic physicality taking the audience on a journey – the inside experience of being an elite athlete striving for the ultimate prize.
Runs until 28 July
A powerful and uplifiting piece of theatre sees wounded, injured and sick Service men and women perform their own story.The Two Worlds of Charlie F is a soldier’s view of service, injury and recovery. Moving from the war in Afghanistan, through the dream world of morphine-induced hallucinations to the physio rooms of Headley Court, the play explores the consequences of injury, both physical and psychological, and its effects on others as the soldiers fight to win the new battle for survival at home.
Runs until 28 July
As the strains of ragtime music are heard on an old record player, a father tells his son a story; a story of hope set at the turn of the 20th century; of a Harlem pianist, a white middle-class family and a Latvian immigrant, whose dreams of a better world shape their destiny. Triple Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader adds a contemporary twist to this powerful musical.
Runs until 8 September
Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel, Fifteen year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain but he has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
Runs until 27 October
Tags: King Lear., Live Theatre, Mark Haddon, National Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, Open Air Theatre, Ragtime, Red Rose Chain, Regents Park, Rendlesham, Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, The Prize, The Two Worlds of Charlie F., Timothy Sheader