23rd to 29th January


The most intriguing opening of the week looks like being Simon Stephens’ ‘savage comedy’, The Trial of Ubu, at Hampstead Theatre, which sees the playwright collaborating with director Katie Mitchell.

The London International Mime Festival continues at various venues around London. Highlights this week include Theatre Tete du Pioche at the Roundhouse Studio and Sugar Beast Circus, whose genre-merging work is at Jackson’s Lane Theatre.

David Haig gives an electric performance as the diminished monarch in Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III, which arrives in the West End following a tour. There’s a chance to see Eugene O’Neill’s Sea Plays at the Old Vic Tunnels. Kathryn Hunter returns to Soho Theatre as a Japanese salaryman in Hideki Noda’s The Bee (and Hunter talks to Exeunt’s Catherine Love about theatrical gender-bending in our interview); the venue will also be presenting Shallow Slumber, a new play by social worker Chris Lee.

Tom Attenborough will be directing Ardal O’Hanlon in a revival of Conor McPherson’s Port Authority at Southwark Playhouse – for more on this production, read our interview with Attenborough – and there will be another chance to see Belt Up’s emotive The Boy James, also care of Southwark Playhouse, in an off-site performance.

Helen Tennison directs a version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility at the Rosemary Branch Theatre and Faction will be completing their repertory season at the New Diorama with Strindberg’s Miss Julie, following exciting productions of Twelfth Night and Mary Stuart. Play On will be presenting a revival of Jack Thorne’s Stacy at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington and Bijan Sheibani will be directing an Iranian version of The House of Bernarda Alba at the Almeida.

At Sadler’s Wells former Royal Ballet Principal Ivan Putrov will be presenting Men in Motion and the Southbank Centre will be hosting a weekend-long festival devoted to death and dying, including Chris Larner’s moving show An Instinct for Kindness and Desert Island Death Discs. The Poetry Takeaway will be on hand all weekend for those seeking solace.