So the season of Saint Val is upon us and there’s no escaping the lovehearts and lockets filling the windows of the high street. But there’s plenty on offer for those of you who fancy a trip to theatre town. Whether you’re feeling the love or cursing at Cupid, there’s something for everyone in our round up of what to see across the UK this week.
Filter Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Lyric Hammersmith
An exciting new collaboration between the Lyric’s Artistic Director Sean Holmes and Filter to present Shakespeare’s renowned love story. Fusing Filter’s unique physical and visual style is sure to offer an irreverent new take on this classic tale of mischief, magic and mistaken identity. The production also boasts an original score and design by the winner of the 2011 Linbury Prize, Hyemi Shin.
At the Lyric Hammersmith until Saturday 17 March.
Northern Broadsides’ Love’s Labour’s Lost at New Vic Theatre
Another Shakespeare offering, Northern Broadsides presents this infamous battle of the sexes as part of its twentieth anniversary celebrations. Artistic Director Barrie Rutter takes to the helm with a fast-paced production alive with song and danc,e that captures the company’s dedication to authentic northern voices. Every performance also features a mystery seventeenth cast member who has performed with the company at some stage over their 20-year history. Catch the company at the New Vic Theatre to find out who’s appearing with them at the moment.
At the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle Under Lyme until 18 February.
Love Letters Straight From the Heart at the Southbank Centre
Described as “an interactive dedication to love”, this show from the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe is presented by Uninvited Guests and Fuel for a one-off show at the Southbank Centre as part of a national tour. Set at a wedding reception where bride and groom turn into rival DJs, the audience choose the tunes to play and get their personal dedications read out live. Join the fun with this quirky pastiche to the spirit of Saint Valentine.
At the Southbank Centre on 14 February then touring.
The Way of the World at Sheffield Crucible
It’s a restoration transformation at the Sheffield Crucible as Lyndsey Turner’s delicious new production of William Congrave’s 1700 comedy of manners continues. High society fop Mirabell has set his sights on the unattainable Millamant, and pursues her with a host of schemes and seductions. Turner’s gloriously funny take on this 300-year-old play is as fresh and funny as the Lady Gaga soundtrack.
At the Sheffield Crucible until 25 February.
Lovesong at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Frantic Assembly’s sell-out production visits the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff this week. BAFTA winning Abi Morgan’s play features Sian Phillips in a unique collaboration of movement, design, music and text to present a story about lifelong love from the effervescence of youth to the wisdom of age. Heart-warming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
At the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, until 18 February.
Boy in a Dress at Ovalhouse
Part of the theatre’s If Only season, this autobiographical and policitical pieces follows the life story of an ex-model from the wrong sides of the tracks. Featuring Catholicism, drag, sexuality and body dysmorphia, La JohnJospeph intertwines her life story with reworkings of iconic songs from artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen and Cole Porter. A unique choice for Valentine’s Day, the theatre is offering a glass of bubbly on arrival, pre-show meal and ticket package for £14.
At Ovalhouse from 14 February to 3 March.
Oedipussy at Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Physical theatre company Spymonkey brings its hilarious style of storytelling to a brand new subversion of the infamous Greek tragedy. A tale of forbidden lust, accidental incest, violent murder and the most dysfunctional family ever, this is the makings of a raucous comedy under the direction of Kneehigh’s Emma Rice.
At the Royal & Derngate, Northampton until 18 February.
The Devil and Mister Punch at the Barbican
The first new Improbable show in the UK for three years, The Devil and Mister Punch takes inspiration from Punch and Judy, which celebrates its three hundred and fiftieth anniversary this year. A riotous show of perfect puppetry, broken vaudevillians and hellish consequences accompanied by a stunning live score. Hilariously brutal.
At the Barbican until 25 February.
Rocinante! Rocinante! at the CLF Art Café, Peckham
In the atmospheric warehouse space previously used by the Royal Court Theatre Local, Rocinante! Rocinante! fuses the stories of madness and the absurd from Don Quixote and Hamlet. Produced by exciting new company Panta Rei Theatre Collective, this site-specific promenade performance through the mad mind of Don Quixote de la Mancha is sure to have you squirming in your seat as you enter the world of the absurd, surreal and grotesque.
At the CLF Art Café, Peckham until 2 March.
Sound & Fury’s Going Dark
Stopping off at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre this week, Going Dark is a devised show that uses a new theatrical vocabulary of immersive surround-sound design, moments of complete darkness, imaginative lighting and innovative projection. This is the story of Max, an astronomer who is diagnosed with an eye condition that will cause him to lose his sight. A thought provoking invitation to re-evaluate the world we take for granted every day.
At the Aberystwyth Arts Centre until 17 February and then touring.
Image 1: Love’s Labour’s Lost in rehearsal. Credit: Nobby Clarke
Image 2: Love Letters Straight From the Heart, Uninvited Guests
Image 3: Oedipussy, Spymonkey