Opening & Closing in London's West End in May 2017

Posted on 27 April 2017

I may have said spring has sprung last month, that was a lie. May is all about the lambs, the daffodils and, to be honest, the start of the summer theatre season. It is a busy month so I will narrow the best of May’s offerings.

Hello to…

Brodsky/Baryshnikov  3rd - 7th May Apollo Theatre
This sadly closes on 7 May but such a brief opportunity to see not only one of the greatest dancers of all time but Sex and the City legend Mikhail Baryshnikov. This one-man show is less about Baryshnikov the dancer and more about the work of Joseph Brodsky the poet. Performed in Russian with English Surtitles. 

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour 9th May, Duke of York’s 
This National Theatre production transfers to the West End. Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) adapts Alan Warner’s novel to the stage. An uplifting and moving story of six Catholic choir girls from Oban, let loose in Edinburgh for one day only.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland 16th May, Vaults Theatre
Lovely immersive theatre in the form of the Lewis Carroll story comes to Vaults. Are you more of a hat person, bunny ears or someone known for their broad grin? This labyrinth of a show is not to be missed. There is also a child-friendly version.

Woyzeck 20th May, The Old Vic
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Jack Thorne adapts this classic and if that wasn’t enough to tempt you the gorgeous JOHN BOYEGA from Star Wars is in the leading role. As this actor becomes a huge star he may become less likely to tread the board so this goes from a must-see to a must-sell-your-first-born-for-a-ticket.

Sand in Sandwiches 30th May, Theatre Royal Haymarket
Friend/colleague of mine,  Gareth Armstrong,  directs Edward Fox in this very gentle look at John Betjeman’s life as part of UK tour, having seen the production in Chichester it will amuse young and old and it is the perfect show if you are having a nice afternoon tea that day.

Judy! 16th May, Arts Theatre
This show was previously known as Through the Mill at the Southwark Theatre but if you saw that production you know that this is worth not only a first trip but a second, third and fourth. Three actresses depict Judy at key moments in her life. With a live band and beautiful costumes, this is the show for any Judy fan.

Sadly as all these new shows waltz in like they own London’s theatres we have to say goodbye to a select few.

Goodbye to…

Wipers Times (closes 13th May), Arts Theatre
Nick Newman and Private Eye’s Ian Hislop’s WWI show about a satirical newspaper created amongst the mud and chaos of The Somme. Expect dry humour from Have I got News for You’s captain and see it before it finishes up after a brief London visit and lengthy UK tour

Carousel (closes 13th May), London Coliseum
Alfie Boe and Katharine Jenkins star in this semi-staged classic in the stunning ENO venue. This limited run of 41 performances comes to an end in May. 

Guards at the Taj (closes 20th May), Bush Theatre
A look behind the scenes of a bloody aftermath in one of the World’s most magnificent buildings; The Taj Mahal. 20, 000 workers have their hands cut off so they can never create a work as beautiful or magnificent again.  Rajiv Joseph’s whimsical play about the two guards is a chance not only to explore the new Bush Theatre space but to see work by this critically acclaimed writer and director. 

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Closes 27th May), Harold Pinter Theatre
Who is sad Who’s Afraid…is closing? Don’t miss an opportunity to see Imelda Staunton (soon to be in National Theatre’s Follies) and Conleth Hill star as the couple at war as made famous by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton with Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway as the young couple who fall in their path. A perfect accompaniment to Edward Albee’s other production in the West End ‘The Goat’ with Damian Lewis and Sophie Okeonado 

Whatever your theatre plans this May I hope there is nice weather and non-rainy bank holidays. I’ll be back in June with sunny shows to get us through the start of the summer months.

Shanine Salmon

By Shanine Salmon

Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.