5 Last Chance To See's In London Theatre

By Johnny Fox Last edited 15 months ago
5 Last Chance To See's In London Theatre

With the weather in turmoil ahead of Glastonbury, and the Thames storm-tossed with Referendum battle ships, it’s beginning to feel like the End of Days. Lots of changes ahead in the West End too, but here’s a clutch of productions whose days are numbered and you might like to catch before they go. Many have offers and discounts too.

Show Boaty McBoatface

A brave and beautifully-orchestrated transfer from Sheffield directed by the super talented Dan Evans, Show Boat has a full-scale Mississippi riverboat set, a strong cast, luscious music but thin audiences despite a raft of five-star reviews. First time in London in 20 years? It should have been a smash. Wrong theatre, maybe, but the New London is only steps from the heart of Covent Garden — so take them! Ends 27 August. Tickets here.

Unsinkable McShipface

Splendidly, this Titanic has sailed further than the original. After a well-deserved sellout at Southwark in 2013, it was staged in Toronto and Tokyo where resourceful director Thom Southerland directed an all-Japanese cast.

Now refloated in the funnily tunnelly space of Charing Cross Theatre, it’s still engaging audiences and doing justice to the rich and inventive Maury Yeston score. Tickets in First Class are under 30 quid, book your passage here.

Creaky McFarceface

The success of Ayckbourn’s 1969 conflation of sex and snobbery with matrimonial mishaps How The Other Half Loves baffled us a bit, but we were beguiled. Another ‘not seen in London for 20 years’, it’s brought back to vigorous life by a determined and capable cast of telly faces. What looks like a cosy domestic comedy features clever tricks with time and hints of the darker themes which emerge in Ayckbourn’s later work. Due to finish at the Haymarket on 25 June, it’s moving to the Duke of York’s for the summer. Haymarket tickets here.

Kinky McRockface

The Kinks aren’t quite in the Last Chance Saloon, but it was announced this week Sunny Afternoon will close in October after two years in the West End. Good time to seek out discounts for this most successful of the compilation shows thanks to Joe Penhall’s clever script. We thought that the songs acquired a resonance they’d not even achieved as singles in Ray Davies’s heyday. Ends 27 October. Waterloo Sunset tickets here.

Bloody McSexface

In this slot we were going to recommend Game of Thrones's Kit Harington's last stand in Doctor Faustus. But the new filthy whore on the block is actually Hamlet's mum — in a curious and in-your-face revival of Howard Barker's Gertrude: The Cry at Theatre N16 in Balham. Plenty of blood, gore and full-frontal nudity, and a vulgar and violent viewpoint in which Hamlet comes over as an even more petulant Owen Jones. Tickets are only £10-£14, so punch SW12 9HD into Google Maps to see how near it is to the station, and maybe support this new local theatre. It's also in quite a nice pub called The Bedford. Ends 30 June. Tickets here.

Last Updated 17 June 2016