Something in the Air (Jermyn Street)
The latest from Peter Gill, one of theatre’s most influential figures, takes place in the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre but the intimacy should serve this love letter to London, its streets and the young men who live there. Some of our best playwrights from Barney Norris to David Eldridge clearly sit at the feet of the writer, now well into his eighties, whose quiet unflashy dissection of the extraordinary in the ordinary packs a powerful emotional punch. There should be a poignancy in a play with a great cast which sees two elderly men (played by Ian Gelder and Christopher Godwin) looking back on their lives and the men they once loved.
Tammy Faye (Almeida)
Tammy Faye was an American evangelical Christian who together with her husband, Jim Bakker, built a Christian TV empire and once owned a Christian theme park that rivalled Disney for popularity. But while many evangelicals—back in the 1980s, and indeed now—saw being gay as a sin, Tammy Faye became a gay icon because of her support and empathy for gay men living with HIV and Aids. At a time when many saw HIV as divine retribution, Tammy Faye bucked the trend. Rupert Goold directs a new musical written by Elton John, Jake Shears and James Graham. Katie Brayben plays Tammy Faye.
The Poltergeist (Arcola)
A strong season at the Arcola continues with Wiebke Green’s production of Philip Ridley’s play, which was seen as a streamed release via Southwark Playhouse during the pandemic. Described as unnerving and gripping by the New York Times, it tells of a young artist who as a teenager had the world at his feet and admiring his large scale murals. So how did it all go wrong for Sasha, and what happened to his early promise? The device in which we see both Sasha’s inner and outer worlds works well in a one person show which is savage, biting and hilariously bilious.
Cover image of Joseph Potter as Sasha in The Poltergeist at the Arcola.