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The young men in Tyrell Williams’ sharp and heartfelt drama meet at the local football ground to shoot the breeze. They’ve got trials to train for, but all three are playing keepy-uppy in life itself: planning their futures in a fast-changing neighbourhood, one eye on family responsibilities and the other on romance. Daniel Bailey’s intimate, pacy staging at the Bush had blazing, superbly physical performances from Francis Lovehall, Emeka Sesay and Kedar Williams-Stirling. Available 9-14 May. Read the review.
Robert Icke’s five-star reimagining of Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi, staged at the Almeida in 2019 with Juliet Stevenson, is finally getting a West End transfer in September. But here’s a chance to stream his version for Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, where Icke is a resident director. Janni Goslinga plays the Jewish doctor who clashes with a priest, causing a public storm, in a production that explores medical ethics and identity politics. Livestream on 22 May (Dutch language with English subtitles).
Shedding a Skin
Amanda Wilkin’s solo show announced her not just as a writer of indelible scenes but a performer of abundant warmth. She is superb as Londoner Myah, with twin habits of shrinking away and over-sharing, who, in a knockout opening sequence, grimaces through her office’s diversity photoshoot. Themes of shame and togetherness are threaded through a drama that takes her from a break-up to a rewarding relationship with flatmate, Mildred, an elder from the Windrush generation. Rosanna Vize’s spare but striking set frames the story perfectly. Available until 8 May. Read the review.
This year she has already won an Olivier award for Cabaret, picked up an Oscar nomination for The Lost Daughter and released an album with Bernard Butler. But here’s a flashback to one of Jessie Buckley’s earlier achievements, when she played Miranda opposite Roger Allam as Prospero. This 2013 production, directed by Jeremy Herrin and also featuring Colin Morgan, is one of the latest to be added to the online archive of Shakespeare’s Globe. Also newly available on GlobePlayer are All’s Well That Ends Well (2011) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2010). Read the review.
Marquee TV has a huge collection of prestigious theatre, dance and opera productions featuring UK household names but its newest intriguing addition is Irena Stetsenko’s documentary about Ukraine’s seven-strong, all-female cabaret outfit the Dakh Daughters. It unfolds during the 2014 Maidan revolution, in dressing rooms and on the road, charting the group’s acts of creation at a time of protest and chaos. Dance for Ukraine, the recent charity ballet gala presented by Ivan Putrov and Alina Cojocaru, is also available from Marquee TV, but only until 2 May – so leap to it.
In Michael Longhurst’s inspired West End revival of Nick Payne’s two-hander Constellations, four pairs of actors took turns to play a couple whose relationship is set against the backdrop of quantum multiverse theory. Longhurst and one of those stars, the supreme Sheila Atim, won Olivier awards in March. You can watch all four versions on demand from the Donmar until 25 May: Atim performs with Ivanno Jeremiah and the three other pairings are equally enticing: Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker, Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey, and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O’Dowd. Read the review.
Extracted in our Future plays series when theatres were in lockdown in 2020, Caroline Bird’s sprawling play is about the 1940s Labour minister Ellen Wilkinson who led the Jarrow march. “This isn’t a play eulogising a powerful woman,” wrote Bird in her introduction. “She wasn’t a myth, she made mistakes … Her naivety, though, was also her strength. The people who change the world are those who refuse to accept it is impossible.” Wils Wilson’s touring production, starring Bettrys Jones, is available on demand from Nottingham Playhouse until 22 May. Read the review.
The pandemic led to a rekindled interest in audio drama and Tamasha is one of many theatre companies to have experimented with podcasts. The Waves is a series of five audio dramas, each lasting 25 minutes, exploring how Britain’s colonial past is felt today in the home towns of five writers: Danielle Fahiya, Corinne Walker, Stefanie Reynolds, Erinn Dhesi, Danielle Fahiya. Mostly recorded on location, they tell tales about a beauty pageant, an apartment in a former cotton factory and a Hibs football match.
Mike Bartlett’s Restoration riff Scandaltown has revived the fine art of comical character names with its tale of Lady Susan Climber and co. The rollicking London Assurance, written by Dion Boucicault in 1841, gave us the unforgettable Sir Harcourt Courtly and Lady Gay Spanker – played to perfection by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in Nicholas Hytner’s 2010 revival, one of the recent additions to the National Theatre at Home archive.
Theatre As Defiance
Finally, here’s something a bit different – not streamed theatre but a free two-hour Zoom discussion (on 25 May) presented by the Young Vic. Theatre As Defiance brings together Sophie Kayes from Belarus Free Theatre, Khulood Basel from the Palestinian Khashabi Theatre and the British-Iraqi writer-performer Amrou Al-Kadhi for a talk about art, activism and advocacy.