What To Watch On Stage May 2024

Theatre highlights this May include The Book Of Grace By Suzan-Lori Parks. Directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr

You can also catch Dugsi Dayz written by Sabrina Ali, The Great Privation Written by Nia Akilah Robinson. Directed by Kalungi Ssebandeke and Between Riverside And Crazy Starring Danny Sapani and Martins Imhangbe.

Dugsi Dayz written by Sabrina Ali

Your stories are silly, no valuable lessons? What happened to the hair-raising blood-curdling stories!?

Detention on a Saturday? These four girls are keeping tight-lipped on why they’re there. When a power outage at the Mosque plunges them into darkness, the girls retell Somali folktales to break the ice. As they delve into their stories, they discover parallels that may just lead to friendship.

Dugsi Dayz runs at the Royal Court Theatre from Wednesday 1st May – Saturday 18th May

Liberation Squares @ Brixton House

Three teenage girls forge an unlikely friendship. They challenge each other with TikToks, beat-boxing, rap and dance routines… They just want to build their social media empire, study astronomy, or become as good a rapper as Megan Thee Stallion. But they undergo a political awakening when they realise that what you say – even what you think – is viewed very differently depending on who you are.

When they find themselves the target of the state surveillance ‘Prevent’ programme, they have to fight back. Friendships fracture and loyalties are tested as they pursue different avenues of resistance. In an era when dissent is being criminalised, what does it take to speak up?

Liberation Squares runs at Brixton House from Thursday 2nd – Saturday 11th May

The Government Inspector starring Kiell Smith-Bynoe

“There’s no money in honesty!”
A comedy about hypocrites, hysterics and hustlers.

This hilarious new adaptation sets the action in a small parochial town in late 19th century Britain, where the corrupt local officials mistake an over-privileged, vainglorious liar, who just happens to be passing through the town, for a high-ranking government inspector. Desperate to cover up their crimes and escape censure, the town’s Governor and his cronies pull out all the stops to try and bribe this dishonest buffoon with money, wine and women.

The Government Inspector runs at Marylebone Theatre from Friday 3rd May – Saturday 15th June

Sappho with Emmanuel Akwafo, Jumoké Fashola and Velile Tshabalala

We are somewhere between imagination and 6th century BC on the Greek island of Lesbos. The poet Sappho creates a new world in her own words. She breaks the rules of her society and elevates her gender. Socrates calls her work beautiful, Plato describes her as the tenth Muse and many think her work rivals even that of Homer’s Iliad.

Sappho has fallen in love with a woman but her family and a civilisation on the precipice of democracy have other plans for her. The defiantly spirited Sappho comes under fire and soon she must decide whether to marry a man for the advancement of her society or remain true to her own words – and her authentic self.

Sappho runs at Southwark Playhouse from Friday 3rd – Saturday 25th May

Between Riverside And Crazy Starring Danny Sapani and Martins Imhangbe

Since his wife died, ex-cop Walter ‘Pops’ Washington has filled his palatial rent-controlled apartment in one of Manhattan’s most desirable areas with an oddball extended family of petty criminals. So now he’s besieged by the landlords, who want him out, the NYPD, who want him to settle his lawsuit against them, and the ladies from the local church, who want to save his soul… But Pops, calm at the eye of the storm, is going to do precisely what Pops wants to do…With Ayesha Antoine.

Between Riverside And Crazy runs at Hampstead Theatre from Thursday 3rd May – Saturday 15th June

People Places and Things Starring Malachi Kirby

Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn’t with Emma, it’s with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she’s smart enough to know that there’s no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up? With Ayo Awoyemi-Peters.

People Places and Things runs at Trafalgar Theatre from Thursday 3rd May – Saturday 10th August

Between the Lines Starring Alexander Lobo Moreno

A rundown council flat in Hackney is the home of Blaze FM, a frantic pirate radio station playing Jungle and Grime to keen listeners. Illegally.

Hughbert and the Shut Down Crew are here to tell you about Blaze FM being the heart and soul of raw new music, as well as it being a hub bringing real news to the community. But with the constant signal cuts by DTI and threats from the authorities, there’s more at stake than the station’s existence.

Can Blaze FM survive? Can Hughbert keep his secret from those closest to him? How far can your expressions of freedom go before you become a target of the state? With Anais Lone.

Between The Line runs at New Diorama Theatre from Friday 3rd May – Saturday 1st June

Kinky Boots directed by Amber Sinclair-Case

Filled with glitter, glam and a whole lot of sole,  ‘Kinky Boots’ is a reminder to celebrate your life triumphantly! Starring Duane-Lamonte O’Garro.

Kinky Boots runs at Storyhouse Theatre from Friday 3rd – Saturday 18th May @ Storyhouse

Now, I See by Lanre Malaolu

Two brothers reunite to honour their sibling’s life at a celebration of remembrance. As they begin to explore letting go, they are forced to confront their shared past and long-standing estrangement. 

A powerful fusion of movement, song, and text, Now, I See is an exploration of identity, forgiveness and nature’s visceral power to heal. Now, I See is the second instalment in Lanre’s trilogy that excavates and celebrates the truth of being a Black man in contemporary Britain. Starring Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Nbabiko Ejimofor and Tendai Humphrey Sirima.

Now, I See runs at Stratford East from Friday 10th May – Saturday 1st June

Romeo and Juliet Starring Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

Violent delights have violent ends.

Tom Holland is Romeo and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers is Juliet in Jamie Lloyd’s pulsating new vision of Shakespeare’s immortal tale of wordsmiths, rhymers, lovers and fighters.

Romeo and Juliet runs at Duke of York’s Theatre from Saturday 11th May – Saturday 3rd August

Passing Strange Starring Giles Terera, Rachel Adedeji and Keenan Munn-Francis

You know, it’s weird when you wake up in the morning and realize that your entire adult life was based on a decision made by a teenager. A stoned teenager.

A young musician sets out on an electrifying musical odyssey to find himself and his place in the world, swapping his middle-class L.A. upbringing for punk rock and protest in 1980s Amsterdam and Berlin.

Passing Strange runs at the Young Vic from Tuesday 14th May – Saturday 6th July

The Great Privation Written by Nia Akilah Robinson. Directed by Kalungi Ssebandeke.

In early 1800s Pennsylvania, a mother and daughter keep vigil at a grave. Today, at a Summer Camp on the same grounds, a new, yet not entirely different mother and daughter navigate a new, yet not entirely different landscape. Alongside them, two distinct male figures move in and out of both sets of lives, threatening to unearth dark truths – or to help create them. As timelines collide and secrets and lives become buried and revealed, a reckoning comes calling to them all: the roots to our ancestors are not as long as we may think. Starring Sydney Sainté, Christie Fewry and Romeo Mika.

The Great Privation runs at Theatre 503 from Tuesday 14th May- Saturday 1st June

The Book Of Grace By Suzan-Lori Parks. Directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr

Grace lives with her husband Vet, a patrol officer on the Texas-Mexico border. When Vet is awarded a medal for his service, Grace invites his estranged son Buddy to join them at the ceremony. But Buddy arrives armed with resentment, an ultimatum and (several) hand grenades. Can Grace heal the rift, and contain the threat? Starring Ellen Vincent, Peter De Jersey and Daniel Francis-Swaby.

The Book of Grace runs at Arcola Theatre from Thursday 16th May – Saturday 8th June

Handa’s Surprise @ Polka Theatre

Travel to Kenya and follow in Handa’s footsteps as she journeys to see her best friend Akeyo, in the next village. Handa is taking seven delicious fruits as a surprise – but seven different animals have seven very different ideas… could you resist the sweet-smelling guava? How about a ripe red mango or a tangy purple passion fruit?

A blend of physical performance, puppetry, live music and song combine to create an intimate, magical production with audience participation. Come and share in the magical tangerine surprise!

Handa’s Surprise runs at Polka Theatre from – Wednesday 22nd May – Sunday 23rd June

Pied Piper: A Hip-Hop Family Musical Written and Co-directed by Conrad Murray.

It’s the eve of the mayoral election, and the kids of Hamelin aren’t happy. The mayor and owner of the local pie factory has imposed a music ban, and to make matters worse, there’s a serious rat problem.
But there have been whispers of a mysterious rat catcher in town: sometimes he plays a pipe, sometimes he uses a microphone. Can this curious stranger help Hamelin to find its voice once more?

Featuring a hugely talented cast of beatboxers, musicians and special guest performances from the local community.

Pied Piper: A Hip Hop Family Musical runs at Queen Elizabeth Hall Southbank Centre from Friday 31st May – Sunday 2nd June


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