This article titled “2013 theatre preview: Helen Mirren gets another crack at the Queen and Peter Pan meets Alice in Wonderland” was written by Michael Billington and Lyn Gardner, for The Guardian on Sunday 30th December 2012 19.30 UTC
After starring in Peter Morgan’s The Queen, Helen Mirren gets a second go at HM, this time on stage, in the same writer’s account of the monarch’s weekly audience with prime ministers from Churchill to Cameron. Presumably it’ll be a battle of the handbags when it comes to those allegedly frosty encounters with Thatcher. Stephen Daldry directs. Gielgud, London W1 (theaudienceplay.com), 15 February to 15 June.
This epic exploration of Nigerian Yoruba culture is a multi-authored show focusing on three sisters separated by a mischievous trickster and obliged to travel the world. Top actors such as Noma Dumezweni and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith join forces with drummers and Cuban dancers. Young Vic, London SE1 (youngvic.org), 25 January to 23 February.
Peter and Alice
In 2009, John Logan brought us the award-winning play Red, based on the tortured life of painter Mark Rothko. His new script is set in 1932 and deals with an intriguing encounter between Peter Llewelyn Davies and Alice Liddell Hargreaves – the real-life inspirations for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench play the leads in another of Michael Grandage’s starry West End lineups. Noël Coward, London WC2 (michaelgrandage.com), 9 March to 1 June.
Many have tried to adapt Voltaire’s picaresque satire for the stage, most famously Lillian Hellman and a host of co-writers in the Leonard Bernstein musical. Now the RSC’s writer-in-residence, Mark Ravenhill, has a go in a new production directed by the fast-rising Lyndsey Turner. Here’s hoping all’s for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon (rsc.org.uk), 29 August to 26 October.
I Was a Rat!
The world premiere of the stage version of Philip Pullman‘s sly, sideways look at the Cinderella story should feature music, adventure and mysterious transformations, and plenty of visual spectacle, too. Birmingham Rep (birmingham-rep.co.uk), 12 February to 2 March, then touring.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Following their collaboration on the world-beating War Horse, director Tom Morris and South African puppet company Handspring reunite to take on Shakespeare’s tale of magic and misadventure. Puppets have been used to stage Dream before, but probably never quite like this. Bristol Old Vic (bristololdvic.org.uk), 28 February to 4 May.
Rutherford & Son
Githa Sowerby‘s 1912 play about a glass manufacturer who faces rebellion from within his own family deserves to be more celebrated. Jonathan Miller returns to the theatre for the first time in six years to direct for the tough-as-boots touring company Northern Broadsides. Viaduct, Halifax (northern-broadsides.co.uk), 8-16 February, then touring.
The Cornish company Kneehigh’s inspirational show, which blasted audiences away in 2005 with its daring and heartbreaking take on forbidden desire, returns. It’s told with giddy abandon, and packed with balloons. West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds (wyp.org.uk), 14 to 22 June, then touring.
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