It’s the most romantic day of the year. So with Tuesday 14th February just around the bend, The Corner Shop team have compiled a comprehensive list of client picks, including things to see and do on the day itself and some alternative suggestions for Valentine’s Day gifts. There’s something there for everyone.
What to see and do this Valentine’s Day
Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing
Theatre Royal Haymarket, showing until 18 March 2017
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s hugely acclaimed pairing of Shakespeare’s great romantic comedies, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (or Love’s Labour’s Won), continue at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Edward Bennett returns to the stage as Berowne and Benedick, alongside Lisa Dillon to delight audiences in the elegant production, directed by Christopher Luscombe. With dazzling country house designs by Simon Higlett and glorious music by Nigel Hess, the productions are set either side of the First World War. Love’s Labour’s Lost conjures up the carefree elegance of a pre-war Edwardian summer, while in post-war Much Ado About Nothing, the world has changed forever, with the roaring Twenties just around the corner.
Savoy Theatre, currently booking until October 2017
Thirty-five years after the groundbreaking Broadway production, the UK and West End premiere of the iconic Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls is now playing at London’s Savoy Theatre. Dreamgirls transports you to a revolutionary time in American music history and charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio, from Chicago, Illinois called ‘The Dreams’, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous. Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going’, ‘I Am Changing’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, it’s the perfect date night treat this Valentine’s Day. American actress and singer Amber Riley makes her West End debut playing soulful singer ‘Effie White’ in the production, directed and choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Casey Nicholaw.
Prince Edward Theatre, booking until June 2017 for individuals and February 2018 for groups
Featuring the timeless songs from the 1992 animated movie and brought to the stage by the producers of The Lion King, Disney’s new West End musical Aladdin opened to critical acclaim at the Prince Edward Theatre in June 2016. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Dreamgirls) with music by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast), Aladdin features lyrics by Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid), Tim Rice (The Lion King) and Chad Beguelin (Elf), who also wrote the book. Including songs such as A Whole New World, Friend Like Me and Arabian Nights, with new music written for the production and over 350 magnificent costumes, the most breath-taking sets and special effects, Aladdin is an unmissable event in London theatre.
The Celestial Chain
Time Run, booking until March 2017
For an alternative Valentine’s Day, challenge your partner or friends to Time Run’s The Celestial Chain. Running concurrently with the critically and publicly acclaimed Lance of Longinus, The Celestial Chain is a ground-breaking, interactive experience allowing Time Runners to travel through multiple fast-paced time zones. An exemplary scoring system will enable teams to chart their achievements against other Runners and offers the opportunity to return time and again to beat previous scores. Created by a team of expert game designers, production specialists and live event organisers, Time Run is perfect for thrill-seekers and families, novices and experienced gamers alike.
Gift Ideas For Your Valentine
An American in Paris
Dominion Theatre, previews from 4 March 2017
An American in Paris bursts into life on the West End stage for the first time when Christopher Wheeldon’s multi award-winning new Broadway musical comes to London’s Dominion Theatre in spring 2017. An American in Paris features many of George and Ira Gershwin’s most iconic songs including I Got Rhythm, ‘S Wonderful, and They Can't Take That Away From Me, together with George Gershwin’s sweeping compositions including Concerto in F and An American in Paris. The unforgettable story of love and hope in a city reborn is the perfect gift to give this Valentine’s Day, where the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance in the aftermath of war.
The Glass Menagerie
Duke Of York’s Theatre, booking until 29 April
John Tiffany returns to the West to bring his acclaimed production of The Glass Menagerie to the Duke of York’s Theatre for a limited season. Cherry Jones will reprise her Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as Amanda Wingfield, with fellow Edinburgh International Festival cast members Michael Esper (Tom) and Kate O’Flynn (Laura). Brian J. Smith reprises his Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as the Gentleman Caller. Alongside this stellar cast, the Duke of York’s Theatre will be transformed into Tennessee Williams’ St Louis of the 1930’s by a universally acclaimed creative team Bob Crowley and Natasha Katz and feature movement from the Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett.
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Harold Pinter Theatre, 22 February – 27 May 2017
Imelda Staunton (Martha) returns to the West End after her triumphant and Olivier Award-winning performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy, to star alongside fellow Olivier Award-winner Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) who will play George in the much anticipated new production of multi Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee’s landmark play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later, Filth, Jane Eyre) and Luke Treadaway (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Fortitude, A Street-Cat Named Bob) complete the all-star cast as the naïve, handsome young couple Honey and Nick who join the ill-fated after-party. Directed by James Macdonald (The Father, The Children), the warring couples provide the ultimate antidote to Valentine’s Day. The production will play a limited 13 week run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End with performances from 22 February 2017.
Vaudeville Theatre, from 1 March
Amanda Holden, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicola Stephenson will be Stepping Out in the West End when Richard Harris's award-winning, feel-good comedy opens at London’s Vaudeville Theatre with preview performances from 1 March 2017. Directed by Maria Friedman, this brand new staging of the wonderfully funny and heart-warming play Stepping Out, charts the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class.
Garrick Theatre, 1 March – 10 June 2017
Griff Rhys Jones will make his return to the London stage after five years alongside comedian Lee Mack, who makes his West End debut. Jones and Mack, two of Britain’s great comic talents, will be joined by further cast, still to be announced, in this major revival of Molière’s classic comedy The Miser which has been newly adapted for its West End premier by Sean Foley and Phil Porter. The Miser will be presented at Bath Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre prior to its West End Premier at the Garrick Theatre on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Theatre Royal Haymarket, 24 March – 24 June 2017
Ian Rickson will direct Damian Lewis (Homeland, Wolf Hall) and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Undercover) in a strictly limited 12 week season of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? A darkly comic and disturbing view on the collapse of familial relationships, The Goat won the Tony Award for Best New Play when it opened in New York in 2005. Albee’s late masterpiece follows married couple Martin and Stevie and their teenage son in crisis as the father embarks on an improbable and impossible love affair from which there is no return.
The First Hippo on the Moon
11-12 February – artsdepot; 14-15 February - Mercury Theatre, Colchester; 17-19 February – Connaught Theatre, Worthing
Based on David Walliams’ original children’s book, this explosively funny space adventure sees the enormously rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and ingenious Shelia compete to be the first hippo to make it to the moon. It is brought to intergalactic life by Les Enfants Terribles’ (Alice’s Adventures Underground, Dinner at the Twits) sister company Les Petits Theatre Company (Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs) and is touring the UK until July 2017.
Print Room at the Coronet, previews from 27 February 2017
maliphantworks (28 February – 11 March) will see award-winning choreographer, Russell Maliphant, curate an evening of intimate works from across his career, tailored for the Coronet’s stage. Featuring past and present international collaborators, Maliphant will bring his innovative approach to this beautiful, Victorian stage in West London.
24 Feb – 25 March, Hull Truck Theatre
A highlight of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and a world premiere, The Hypocrite is a riotous comedy by award-winning Hull playwright Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors). Starring Mark Addy (Game of Thrones, The Full Monty) and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Life Of Riley, Jonathan Creek), The Hypocrite is inspired by the life of Sir John Hotham, the pivotal Governor of Hull charged by Parliament to deny King Charles I entry to the arsenal at Hull, igniting the English Civil War. We join Sir John on frankly the worst day of his life. The Hypocrite launches an outstanding programme of new ambitious commissions at Hull Truck and is a co-commission and co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which will take it to Stratford afterwards.
Back To Ours
22 – 25 February, various venues around Hull
As part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Back To Ours is a series of festivals which will see world class theatre, comedy, music, cabaret, circus, film and dance all be performed in the heart of Hull’s neighbourhoods alongside local talent over the half term holiday. Funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, schools will be transformed into cinemas, shopping centres into theatres and social clubs into big tops. The line-up includes Leeds band, The Pigeon Detectives, activist and comedian Mark Thomas in the multi award winning show The Red Shed, puppet shows The Story of Mr B by Shake Shake Theatre (suitable for children) and Meet Fred by Hijinx Theatre (suitable for over 14s), Picture House, a family film festival of Roald Dahl movies and the 2016 Edinburgh Festival award winning show, JOAN, performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson. Tickets for the debut festival start from as little as £2.50 and performances will be on at North Point Shopping Centre, Kingswood and Winifred Holtby Academies, The Freedom Centre, Archbishop Sentamu Academy, William Gemmell Club, Hymers College and Sirius Academy West.