Civilisation (New Diorama Theatre)
Antler is such an interesting company and one that's work always plays with metaphor in intriguing ways. You may recall the company’s terrific Lands, a tough and tender piece about loneliness and exclusion. I saw Civilisation at the Edinburgh fringe in 2019, and while I didn’t always understand it, I could feel its desolation, and it is a show that two years hence still rumbles about in my head, catching me unawares at odd moments. I think it is a show about grief, and what could be more appropriate for the times in which we live.
Carousel (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre,)
The sunny weather last week should have given a boost to outdoor theatre, which is always at its summer’s best in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre with its iconic auditorium. As the shadows lengthen, it is impossible not to feel that something magical is at work. Artistic director Timothy Sheader has turned the theatre into a musical powerhouse with eye-opening revivals of both Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita in previous years. Now it is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s lush post-war Broadway musical, one that comes with difficult themes of domestic violence and coercion, that is getting reinvented for the 21st century.
Andromeda (CPT, both in person and on-line)
Euripides’ Andromeda is a lost play, known only to us by contemporary references and surviving fragments. We do know that its plot sees the princess Andromeda being chained to a rock by her dad (delightful chap) and then being saved from being gobbled by a sea monster by Perseus, who arrives hotfoot from slaying Medusa and swiftly sets about slaying Andromeda’s heart. You won’t quite be seeing that in this intriguing production, led by writer Hannah Greenstreet and director Charlotte Vickers, who are taking the surviving fragments from heterosexual stories and rewriting them by filling the gaps with queer stories. But you might see something even more interesting that asks questions about the stories that survive and those we tell ourselves.