الخميس. ديسمبر 5th, 2019

West Side Story, The Arrival, Cinderella, The Boy Friend, CinderELLA: The Musical … Five of the best theatre shows over the next seven days

 Something’s coming… West Side Story. Photograph: Ellie Kurttz

By Miriam Gillinson

West Side Story

Is it ever not the right time to see Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story? The big twist in director Nikolai Foster’s new production is that original choreographer Jerome Robbins’s finger-clicking moves will not feature. Instead, there will be new steps from Ellen Kane who has worked as a dance supervisor on Cats and Matilda. Intriguing.

Curve Theatre, Leicester, Saturday 23 November to 11 January

The Arrival

If you have seen Barber Shop Chronicles or Dance Nation then you will have appreciated the directing skills of Bijan Sheibani. Now Sheibani is directing his own work for the first time. It is a family drama about two brothers, separated by adoption but still very much connected by biology. Scott Karim and Irfan Shamji star.

The Bush Theatre: Holloway Theatre, W12, to 18 January

Cinderella

This is a Cinderella panto, but not necessarily a show for all the family. Luke Barnes has transformed the age-old fairytale into a feisty, drink-fuelled karaoke session. Not Too Tame’s production will take place in a fully immersive theatre-cum-pub. There will still be the rags-to-riches story but, around this, will be rowdy music, rousing singalongs and live bingo. Oh, and a fruit machine and a fully functioning onstage bar, manned by the cast.

The Vaults, SE1, to 12 January

The Boy Friend

Sandy Wilson’s 1953 musical is oh so light yet oh so fun. It is an all-singing and all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies, set at a finishing school in Nice – a place where girls dream of dashing boyfriends and burst into song at the drop of a feather. The production will be directed by Menier regular Matthew White, who also helmed Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors. Janie Dee stars.

The Menier Chocolate Factory, SE1, to 7 March

CinderELLA: The Musical

Yes it’s another Cinderella, but this one sounds pleasingly offbeat. It is a musical comedy adaptation that includes two versions of Cinderella: the young and disillusioned Cinders and the ageing Ella, who dreams of that now-distant night at the ball. Will they find a way back to their true selves and a fairytale ending? Michael Fentiman – who always goes bold and big – directs a cast that includes Valda Aviks and newcomer Lydia White.

Nuffield Theatre: City, Southampton, Sat to 5 January

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