Our pick of the best theatre, comedy and puppetry, yes, puppetry events on offer on London's stages this week. Plus a reminder about those shows which are closing.
Opening at the Arts Theatre tonight is American Justice, a tense, searing play about guilt and redemption in America’s modern-day prison system, written by Richard Vergette. From tomorrow, you can see No Quarter at the Royal Court, That Face playwright Polly Tenham’s latest production, or Good Morning, Alamo! at the Tabard Theatre, the story of Mexico’s 1835 revolution. On Thursday, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show is presented by the Eclipse Theatre Company at the Tricycle Theatre; Don Evans’ hilariously outrageous play about how hard we try to hide who we really are looks like a lot of fun – check out the video trailer below.
Finally, don’t miss David Farr and Gísli Örn Garðarsson’s spectacular reinvention of Franz Kafka’s literary masterpiece, as Metamorphosis returns to the Lyric Hammersmith from Monday, running until early February.
We’ve got two Soho Theatre recommendations for you this week. First up: BAFTA and Chortle Best Newcomer Nominee Iain Stirling brings his critically acclaimed debut stand-up show to town for three nights from Thursday. Then following an acclaimed Edinburgh run, comic Luisa Omielan examines a new philosophy based on the lyrics of everyone’s favourite pop princess, asking What Would Beyonce Do?! at the Soho Theatre from Thursday.
On Sunday, My Big Gay Italian Wedding comes to the Greenwich Theatre for a strictly limited run of laughs.
It’s a big week for puppets in London, with not one but four puppet show to choose from, thanks, in part, to the ever-brilliant London International Mime Festival. At the Barbican, Hand Stories opens tonight, interweaving traditional puppetry skills with modern multimedia effects to tell Yeung Fai’s story of fleeing persecution in China to freedom in the West. Over at the Roundhouse, Stan’s Café’s The Cardinals makes its London premiere, taking you on a thought-provoking journey through key scenes from the Bible, Crusades and contemporary Middle East.
And then at the Soho Theatre, you can choose between The Heads by 2012 Opening Ceremony puppeteers Blind Summit (who promise a a cascade of imagery inspired by Cubism, McCarthyism and Catholicism, with guest appearances by a puppet Madonna and a cardboard J Edgar Hoover) from tomorrow, or Les Hommes Vides, a 20-minute low-tech slapstick and surreal show by Invisible Thread, also from tomorrow.
Saturday is your last chance to see The Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum, The Master And Margarita at the Barbican, Let It Be at the Prince of Wales Theatre (before it transfers), La Boheme at the Charing Cross Theatre, In The Republic of Happiness at the Royal Court, and Will Young et al. in Cabaret at the Savoy.