The stage is set, the curtains are about to rise, and London's theatre scene is bursting with shows that'll make you laugh, cry, and perhaps question your life choices. Wondering what to watch? Lo and behold, the crème de la crème of summer's must-see shows, as told by yours truly.
Pygmalion at The Old Vic Theatre
Why see it? The perpetual saga of 'language sculpting human or human sculpting language?', Pygmalion at The Old Vic brings back this delicious concoction of class tensions, gender dynamics, and the inexplicable joys of the English accent. Forget Higgins and Eliza; you'll leave questioning your own identity and assumptions. Highbrow comedy for the win.
Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool at Wyndham’s Theatre
Why? Because nothing screams 'comic existential crisis' like swimming with sharks while battling insomnia. From the complexities of fatherhood to almost becoming fish food, Birbiglia ensures you laugh enough to forget your own impending doom. Especially recommended if you like Broadway hits, Mike Birbiglia and/or one-person shows.
About Dr Semmelweis at Harold Pinter Theatre
This is your show if you want to witness how one man's stubborn quest for truth takes on an establishment hell-bent on maintaining its dangerous status quo. Because sometimes, to change the world, you have to be willing to ruffle a few institutional feathers. This isn't just a show; it's a thrilling journey into the complexities of the human psyche, institutional ego, and medical dogma.
A Spoonful of Class(ics)
Private Lives at Ambassador's Theatre
Ah, a comedy where romance, wit, and awkward hotel room encounters blend into a glorious cocktail of ‘what were they thinking?!’. When past flames meet current loves, expect nothing less than elegant chaos. It's like a Jane Austen novel but with martinis. This wonderful play has been around since 1930 and is being staged to mark the 50th death anniversary of the celebrated genius behind it, Noel Coward.
Off-West End and Fringe: Top Quirky and Intriguing Picks
The Interview at Park Theatre
"Silence is overrated; it's time my voice rings loud and clear," could well be the mantra behind this electrifying drama. Revisiting the notorious 1995 BBC interview between Princess Diana and Martin Bashir—a spectacle that glued hundreds of millions to their screens—Jonathan Maitland's provocative play takes you backstage. No longer universally accepted as legitimate, the interview raises unsettling questions that shadow its original intent. Do we manipulate truth to fit our narrative, or does the narrative define our truth? Can the pillars of society—our media, our monarchy—be trusted to shape that narrative? Are we ever truly the architects of our legacy, or merely pawns in a larger game? Watch this one for big questions, deep thinking and far-reaching consequences.
The White Factory at Marylebone Theatre
Imagine building a house on a shaky foundation; that's Yosef Kaufman's life. A Holocaust survivor from Lodz, Yosef grapples with the ghosts of wartime as he tries to navigate 1960s Brooklyn. What happens when the promise of the American Dream clashes with haunting memories? Don't miss this deeply moving drama that stretches across decades and borders, asking you to contemplate the powerful, often painful, tension between past and future.
The Bard's Best
Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe
An age-old lesson in 'be careful what you wish for' but with witches and blood stains. Macbeth offers a thrilling descent into ambition gone terribly awry. Macbeth is your faithful bee's absolute favourite of the Shakespeare tragedies and the bee has been waiting for two years for a production, so the bee is not going to miss this one!
So grab your tickets, and maybe a fellow drama-queen, and dive into London's theatre scene this summer! Happy theatre-going!