The Dumb Waiter (Old Vic Online & In person)
The latest Old Vic online and in-person offering sees Daniel Mays and David Thewlis playing hitmen Ben and Gus in Pinter's one-act play. They're hiding out in the kitchen basement of an abandoned Birmingham café as they await instructions about their next target. One reads the newspaper; the other banters and prattles. But then the dumb waiter descends from above, demanding things including liver and onions and sago pudding. Jeremy Herrin revives Pinter’s 1957 gem, a play that can be both glumly comic and terrifying sinister as it dissects the mechanics of fear. Think of Waiting for Godot with more small talk and rewritten as a crime drama.
Life: Live! (Battersea Arts Centre)
The latest solo show from Lucy McCormick sees the creator of hit shows Post-Popular and Triple Threat exploring her aspirations to be a pop star. She might be set to play Cathy in Emma Rice's Wuthering Heights later in the year, but this show sees her on more usual form, as a woman who likes to push the boundaries of both performance and good taste. She’s sexed up the New Testament and put a deliciously slutty female gaze on man-made history, but there has never been any doubt about her artistry. Here, she showcases her talent as a songwriter, singer and pop diva, with designer Morven Mulgrew's set offering a unique take on stadium spectaculars and tinsel dreams.
Lava (Bush Theatre)
Names matter. Without a name who are we? Taking a way a name is a way of taking away people’s humanity. Renaming them is a form of control. Congolese-British writer Benedict Lombe's debut play Lava follows a woman who receives an unexpected letter from the British Passport Office, and is forced to confront a mystery—her South African passport does not carry her first name. Why? Her quest takes her from Congo to South Africa, Ireland and England in a play which examines nationhood and the fall-out from displacement. The production is in person at the Bush but will be streamed from August 16-21.