By Jamie Moore
We have alighted on the month of Julius Caesar’s birth and, on average, the warmest month in the Northern hemisphere. Theatre thrives in the balmy midsummer dusk, evinced by the effusion of board-treading on offer this July in London’s East
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Playing until 13 July
One-hundred and twenty gleeful children from two local primary schools swarm the Stratford East stage this July, belting out Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde alongside members of the Stratford East Singers and the English National Opera (ENO) Community Choir. This commendable deluge of community performers support a principal cast of professional singers, all underscored by the exemplary musicianship of the ENO orchestra, along with younger musicians from other community groups, conducted by Martin Fitzpatrick. Lyndsey Turner directs this production of the biblical epic, considered to be one of Britten’s finest works. With a slender running time of just over an hour, be sure to catch this sundowner.
Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
020 8534 0310
Wrestling The Walrus
The Yard Theatre
16 – 18 July
Winner of the 2018 Hodgkiss Award, Wrestling The Walrus comes to The Yard Theatre this July, created by the theatrically innovative 154 Collective. This mixed-media bonanza combines animation, live music, film and good old-fashioned acting to tell the moving tale of two people who chance into one another’s orbits, forming the unlikeliest of bonds. With a company of five, comprised of two actors and three musicians, the contrasting storytelling media interweave and tesselate, making for an unforgettable evening of theatre. With just three performances in July, be sure to catch it before you blink.
The Yard Theatre, Unit 2A, Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
020 3111 0570
Playing until 20 July
With a cast whose voices could wibble-wobble the sturdiest of upper lips, Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees’s new musical FIVER strums triumphantly onto the Southwark Playhouse stage for its UK premiere this July. The narrative follows a five-pound note as it’s slipped from hand-to-hand against a backdrop of contemporary London. In the wrong hands, this dubious premise threatens whimsy, but not so here. The musical, replete with memorable songs, strikes a chord, depicting a London its regular pavement-strollers will recognise, making for a compelling night of musical theatre. Stroll along before Fiver slings its hook towards the end of July.
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
020 7407 0234
Playing until 3 August
The edge of my seat was but a speck on the horizon for the majority of The Hunt at the Almeida Theatre. This hand-biting production, directed by Rupert Goold, tells the tortuous tale of a Danish primary school teacher, played here by Tobias Menzies, whose ineffably deft central performance alone is worth the ticket price. Things go from tense to excruciating after Menzies’s character finds himself in soupe chaude after being accused of behaving with sexual impropriety towards a young female pupil. The eponymous hunt is on. David Farr adapts this Scandinavian thriller from the work of Danish filmmakers Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm whose 2013 film, featuring Mads Mikkelsen, bears the same name. This is one to watch.
Almeida Theatre, Almeida St, The Angel, London N1 1TA
020 7359 4404
Jesus Christ Superstar
Playing until 24 August
A superlative creative team have conjoined and conspired to bring you Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican Centre this July. This revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s modern musical classic, directed by Timothy Sheader, snatched an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival in 2017 when it was playing at the Regent’s Park Theatre. It is testament to the vigour of this production that it returns once more to the cavernous stage of the Barbican. It boasts a captivating coterie of performers and musicians; even X-Factor-winning singer-songwriter Matt Cardle enters the fray. Strap in for an electric evening.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 8891