It's fair to say that London's reputation as the world capital for theatre is well-deserved and well-earned. We all know how many astonishing plays run here - from the tiny fringe productions above pubs to the blockbuster musicals to the erudite creations of Ibsen, Pinter and Prebble. Yes, in London there's truly a play or musical for everyone, whatever your mood and whatever your budget. This March, in the capital, there's some wonderful theatre to see and since La Gaffe is a mere 15 minutes from the West End by Underground, and also round the corner from some very jolly little theatres, we thought we'd give you readers the lowdown on what to see when you come to visit. Some of these plays are also stretching into the summer, so fear not if you haven't booked your accommodation yet! Here we are - five plays that we can't help but recommend to you, this coming spring.
2. Tina: the Tina Turner Musical
3. Love, Love, Love - Mike Bartlett
With the Beatles' song "All you need is love" playing in the background, Mike Bartlett s play opens to a home in which we meet Sandra and Kenneth. Having met back in the 60s, they're now about to retire, with an empty nest. They've witnessed social change and experienced personal prosperity, but it seems their marriage is crumbling. As the play bounces between decades, we witness political turbulence in a changing world, the misery of their disgruntled children and a sense that this couple are really too self-involved to understand why everything's falling to bits. From the free love of the 60s, to the beginning of a new millenium, their disgruntled daughter Rose sums up the situation with a great line - "You didn't chance the world - you bought it." Love, Love, Love is playing at the Lyric Hammersmith until 4th April. https://lyric.co.uk/shows/love-love-love/
Sixty years after it first premiered in Hampstead (January 1960) as part of the Hampstead Theatre Club s first season, Harold Pinter s comedy returns to north London. Widely considered to be one of his best early plays, it has been described as "small but perfectly formed. Gus and Ben are two hit men, sitting in a derelict, dingy basement, waiting for news of their next job. Gus, who is the younger of the two, is constantly asking Ben questions. But as the evening takes some unexpected turns, we are all left asking what is the cost of their quest for meaning? This hilarious and menacing play is as much about nihilism and despair as anything else - and shows us that, for much of the time, we're as much prey to unconscious forces as we are in control of our own lives. The Dumb Waiter is playing at the Hampstead Theatre until 18th April. https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2020/the-dumb-waiter/
In a Russian countryside estate, Sonya and her Uncle Vanya pass stiflingly hot summer days quite idly. The estate belongs to his brother-in-law, Serebruyakov, a retired Professor, and the year is 1898. When Dr Astrov is summoned to the estate to tend to the Professor's aches and pains, disruption and discontent break out. Uncle Vanya is a sad tale of aging and unrequited love, with a very mournful Chekovian feel to it. It is hard to remember that Chehov wrote it as a comedy, when throughout the play there are so many poignant moments. "God will smile on us" remarks Sonya at the play's end. She knows that they are both unhappy but is determined to live out her natural life, assured that in the next life she will know peace. It is wonderfully Russian - gloom and a smidgen of uncertainty bound up together! Uncle Vanya is playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 2nd May. https://www.haroldpintertheatre.co.uk/uncle-vanya