In the Net (Jermyn Street)
Jermyn Street begins 2023 with a brand new play which marks the debut of Misha Levkov. It tells the story of three women: half-sisters Laura and Anna and Hala, a Syrian refugee living with the family. She is caught up in immigration red tape even as the sisters plan to erect a net stretching across North London to unite their community. But will their grand plan come unstuck? Will the net become a web which catches, or a symbol of joy and protest and resistance? It’s produced by rising company Wolab which had a hit early last year with the football and identity drama ENG-ER-LAND.
On the Ropes (Park Theatre)
There have been plenty of brilliant plays about boxing and the boxing ring is very much like a stage, so there are high hopes for this new play unfolding in 12 rounds which charts the life and times of black British boxer Vernon Vanriel. A child of the Windrush generation, arriving in the UK aged six, Vanriel saw success in the ring in the 1970s, but in 2005 found himself in a fight with the home office to be recognized as a citizen. Highlighting the injustices suffered by too many of the Windrush generation, this true story is co-written by Vanriel himself.
Swell (King’s Head)
Theatre doesn’t really step up in pace until next week when there is a feast of new possibilities from The Boys are Kissing at Theatre503 to the immersive show Saint Jude at 100 Petty France and Frantic Assembly’s Othello coming to the Lyric Hammersmith. But the King’s Head is working as normal and includes Tom Foreman’s climate refugee drama, Swell, inspired by the Welsh town which in 2014 discovered that local agencies would no longer be protecting their homes and town from the encroaching sea. Or take a chance on Sam McArdle’s The Manny, a one man dark comedy inspired by his personal experience of being a male nanny. The work is well paid and its cash in hand but there is seven year old spoiled brat Michael to deal with and his own increasing sense that life is slipping him by.
Cover image from In the Net at Jermyn Street Theatre.