Firstly, news of one of my favourite theatre company’s coming to the West End this year. The ever-brilliant Royal Shakespeare Company are bringing David Edgar’s Written on the Heart to the Duchess Theatre for a strictly limited run, opening on Shakespeare’s birthday: 23 April.
RSC veterans Oliver Ford Davies and Stephen Boxer will star in the drama, which marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. Edgar’s play tells the story of two men translating the word of God into English: for one, it means death at the stake, for the other, it could bring an archbishop’s mitre.
Another exciting piece of transfer news this week: Mark Rylance’s Shakespeare’s Globe productions Richard III and Twelfth Night (the latter starring Stephen Fry) are moving to the Apollo Theatre in the West End from 2 November. It’s a long time to wait, but I think tickets are going to sell fast, so be quick if you want to see these shows!
An earlier play for your calendars is What The Butler Saw, also announced this week. Comic Omid Djalili, who you might’ve seen in Oliver at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane a couple of years’ ago, will lead the cast of this new production. What The Butler Saw is a comedy of twists, coincidences and sharp one-liners, by Joe Orton, and will play at the Vaudeville Theatre from 4 May to 25 August.
Fans of The Inbetweeners should look out for Blake Harrison (Neil from the show) making his West End debut in Rob Hayes’s Step 9 (Of 12) at the Trafalgar Studios, also in May. Step 9 (Of 12) sees Harrison playing Keith, a drug and alcohol addict, apologising for his past. But as his earlier actions are assessed, it becomes clear they have shocking repercussions for the present.
Finally, Shrek The Musical has announced a new â€œschool nightâ€ performance schedule: starting Wednesday night shows at the more kid-friendly time of 7pm. The team have also introduced a new family ticket package for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances with prices starting at £99, making it more affordable for families to see the hit show.
And on 16 May, Shrek will play a special, relaxed performance for children with special needs: tickets are free for the kids, and just £5 for adults. This one-off show is presented by theatre educational charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects. For more info on the work they do, check out their website.