Our guide to the top shows opening in London this week, plus a reminder about those on their way out…
Head to the National Theatre from tonight to see a new production of Timon of Athens at the Southbank venue. Simon Russell Beale stars as the tragic hero, with Nicholas Hytner in the director’s chair. Part of the World Shakespeare Festival, the show runs until October, and some tickets are as little as £12.
From tomorrow, you can see the Attic Theatre Company’s Olympic-themed show, 1936 at the Lilian Baylis studio. (Here’s our review from last time it was in town.) Also opening tomorrow is The Complete World Of Sports (Abridged) at the Arts Theatre, the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s latest offering, again in town on the Olympic wave; and Ten Billion at the Royal Court, which doesn’t claim to be a play; more a theatrical scientific lecture about population growth and environment. If you’re intrigued, it runs until 11 August, and tickets range from £10 to £20.
Derren Brown also brings his new show to the West End from tonight. Running at the Novello Theatre over the summer, Svengali promises "a fun and freaky evening of mind-melting based around audience participation."
Two child-friendly shows opening this week are The Boy Who Fell Into A Book by Alan Ayckbourn at the Soho Theatre from tomorrow until the end of the month; and Charlie And Lola’s Best Bestest Play at the Polka Theatre, which opens tomorrow and runs until 25 August.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
Friday is your last chance to see Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 at the Royal Opera House.
Saturday is your last chance to see Antigone at the National Theatre; The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess at the London Coliseum; Chicken at the Trafalgar Studios; the excellent en route at the Theatre Royal Stratford East; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Almeida; Jazz At Café Society at the Tricycle; Henry V and The Winter’s Tale at the Hampstead Theatre; The Physicists at the Donmar; and The Prophet at the Gate Theatre.
South Downs and The Browning Version at the Harold Pinter Theatre’s last West End performance is on Sunday.