This edition of The Mix brings you some news on shows coming to small spaces and stages across London in 2020. I’ll be updating as new season announcements come in. Small spaces are special as you can get close up to the show and the performers rather than peering through binoculars from what feels like another universe. So support them!
If I have missed your venue or show and you’d like it included, please let me know, and if you would like me to consider reviewing a production, please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Notice is always appreciated as I am a solo blogger and unlikely to be available at very short notice.
A – C
Mike Barlett’s Albion runs from 3 – 28 Feb, Jeremy O’Harris’s melodrama Daddy from 30 Mar – 9 May, and Beth Steel’s The House of Shades from 18 May – 27 Jun.
Beryl makes a spin back into the theatre from 14 Jan – 8 Feb, and Middle Child present The Canary and the Crow (“an electrifying piece of gig theatre”) from 16 Jan – 8 Feb.
Battersea Arts Centre
Following Going Global through the spring, planned productions include When It Breaks, It Burns (19 – 29 Feb), VR experience for two audience members at a time Unreal City (2 – 28 Mar), exploration of toxic masculinity Daughter (3 – 28 Mar), Rich Kids … a History of Shopping (14 Apr – 2 May), and nu-pop star Lucy McCormick’s immersive pop concert spectactular Life: Live! (19 – 30 May).
The Bunker sadly closes its doors in March 2020 due to planned redevelopment of the area. The Process (11 Jan – 1 Feb) will be performed in BSL and spoken English in a relaxed environment, and cross-arts show The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye will bring together female and LGBTQIA+ artists, “”fusing spoken word, original live music and exceptional performances to tell the story of a friendship complicated by the revelation of trauma” (12 – 27 Jan).
The High Table, by Temi Wilkey (8 Feb – 21 Mar) and Level Up, by Malachi Kirby (1 May – 6 Jun) have been announced for the main space, and Margaret Perry’s Collapsible (5 Feb – 14 Mar) for the studio.
Formerly known as the Tabard. Great British Mysteries present 1599 from 21 – 25 Jan, The Scene (a festival of new writing) runs from 28 Jan – 1 Feb, and Karoline Leach’s Tryst shows from 5 – 29 Feb.
Russell Maliphant and company perform new dance showcase Maliphant Works 3 from 6 – 22 Feb, and Dead Poets Live tackles Emily Dickinson on 16 Feb.
D – F
Caryl Churchill’s play Far Away is revived from 6 Feb – 28 Mar.
Athena Stevens’s play Scrounger runs from 7 Jan – 1 Feb, followed by Joseph Crilly’s “vicious black comedy” On McQuillan’s Hill from 4 – 29 Feb, and Michael Melski’s Hockey Mum. Hockey Dad from 31 Mar – 21 Apr.
G – I
From 27 Feb – 21 Mar, the intriguing Trainers: or the Brutal Unpleasant Atmosphere of This Most Disagreeable Season is on (“a queer futuristic adventure story about love, activism and training for a revolution”). Derek Walcott’s Oneros runs from 7 – 30 May, Valeria Luiselli’s adaptation of her novel Faces in the Crowd from 16 Jan – 8 Feb, and a new piece of work from Rosie Elnile, Prayer will show in the summer.
Splendid Productions present Dr Faustus on 17 Jan, Roan Theatre Company have Atrocity on 29 – Jan – 1 Feb, Louise Jameson directs political thriller Revenge from 6 – 8 Feb, and Lazarus present three production in their third season as Greenwich Theatre associate artists – Macbeth (26 Feb – 7 Mar), Hedda Gabler (25 Mar – 4 Apr), and Peter Pan (17 Jun – 4 Jul).
The world premiere of Al Blyth’s The Haystack is on from 31 Jan – 7 Mar.
J – L
Jermyn Street Theatre
A star-led season includes a Beckett Triple Bill directed by Trevor Nunn from 15 Jan – 8 Feb, a new black comedy The Dog Walker from 12 Feb – 7 Mar, Michael Pennington as Prospero in The Tempest from 11 Mar – 4 Apr, revivals of Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking (21 Apr – 16 May) and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (24 Jun – 18 Jul), and The Marriage of Alice B Toklas is on from 20 May – 20 Jun.
Three shows have been announced: Pass Over, from 13 Feb – 21 Mar (written by Antoinette Nwandu and “inspired by Waiting for Godot and Exodus”); A Museum in Baghdad (by Hannah Khalil and co-presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company) from 22 Apr – 23 May; and The Glee Club (by Richard Cameron, “a poignant and hilarious comedy featuring hit songs”) from 4 – 27 Jun.
Ron Elisha’s Falling in Love Again (concerning Edward VIII and Marlene Dietrich) runs from 14 Jan – 8 Feb. Musical comedy The Six Wives of Henry VIII is on from 11 Feb – 7 Mar. Tom Wright’s love story Undetectable returns from 12 Feb – 7 Mar. Charle Entsies’s new play No Strings Attached runs from 14 Apr – 2 May, while opera and operetta are not forgotten with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe on from 12 Mar – 11 Apt, and Verdi’s Aida from 6 May – 6 Jun. For Queen and Country makes a stop on 29 – 30 Mar and 5 – 6 Apr, with Neil Summerville portraying Army Major turned drag queen Denis Rake.
Leicester Square Theatre
A couple of one-nighters in February, Anthony Bunko’s The Man Whose Hair Grew Black on the 1st, and Russian music and poetry piece Six Senses on the 4th, lead into the return of Frances Barber in The Pet Shop Boys and Jonathan Harvey’s Musik from 5 Feb – 1 Mar. In the Museum of Comedy, Harvey Greenfield is Running Late transfers from the Ediniburgh Fringe from 27 – 29 Feb.
Lion and Unicorn
Mad Wolf present Julius Caesar – in one act! They perform from 14 – 18 Jan.
In the Main House, Faustus: That Damned Woman runs from 22 Jan – 22 Feb, a revival of Love, Love, Love (which “charts one couple’s journey forty years from the era of free love to the beginning of the 21st Century”) from 5 Mar – 4 Apr, and Seamus Heaney’s translation of Antigone: The Burial at Thebes is on from 18 Apr – 16 May.
In the Studio, productions geared to younger audiences run throughout the spring.
M – O
A new adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone (adapted by Lulu Rackza and presented by Holy What) runs from 7 Jan – 1 Feb. Yorkshire Ripper drama The Incident Room transfers from the Edinburgh Fringe from 11 Feb – 14 Mar, while comedy Shorts and Socks Included runs from 31 Mar – 2 May. Physical theatre from The Pappy Show in Wait Til’ the End completes the season from 19 May – 6 Jun.
New Wimbledon Studio
After a run of events aimed at small children, In The Shadow of the Black Dog runs from 25 – 26 Feb, Guy: a New Musical (from the creators of The Marriage of Kim K) is on from 28 – 29 Feb, and Arrows & Traps Theatre bring The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde to the Studio from 23- 25 Mar. Another new musical, Berlin Girl, from Eastern Edge, runs from 22 – 25 Apr.
Old Red Lion
A pair of plays by Rosalind Blessed run in rep through January, Lullabies for the Lost and The Delights of Dogs and the Problem of People.
From 13 – 18 Jan, Maidens, Myths and Monsters marks the debut of Nikita Gill’s mythological world Great Goddesses on stage. The Glass Will Shatter runs from 21 Jan – 8 Feb, and interrogates faith, belonging and polarisation within the school system. Funny new Irish drama Flights is on from 11 – 29 Feb, 28 Feb has a quick stop-off form MANdemic: a Drag King Cabaret, Can I Help You is on from 3 – 21 Mar, triple monologue The Apologists from 3 – 8 Mar, and a new version of Volpone from 24 Mar – 11 Apr.
P – R
In Park90, Shackleton and his Stowaway runs from 8 Jan – 1 Feb, Time and Tide (devloped through the Park’s Script Accelerator programme) runs from 5 – 29 Feb, comedy Corpse runs from 4 – 28 Mar, “poignant new drama” Never Not Once runs from 1 – 25 Apr, The Still Room is on from 29 Apr – 23 May, and comedy Burkas and Bacon Butties is on from 27 May – 20 Jun.
In Park200, Rags the Musical transfers from Manchester’s Hope Mill from 9 Jan – 8 Feb, Simon Callow’s translation of the play of La Cage Aux Folles is on from 12 Feb – 21 Mar, Clybourne Park runs from 25 Mar – 2 May, Brixton-set play A Place for We is on from 6 May – 6 Jun, and The Garden of Words (based on the anime from Makoto Shinkai/ CoMix Wave Films) closes the summer from 15 Jul – 15 Aug.
Royal Court Jerwood Upstairs
Miriam Battye’s Scenes with Girls (developed through a Royal Court Writers Group) runs from 15 Jan – 22 Feb, Sami Ibrahim’s two Palestians go dogging is on from 9 Apr – 9 May, Pablo Manzi’s A Fight Against from 20 May – 20 Jun “marks the English language debut of one of Chile’s most significant new voices”, Sarah Hanly’s Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks from 29 Jun – 11 Jul, and Jude Christian’s Nanjing (” a personal response to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, otherwise known as the Rape of Nanking”) is on from 21 Jul – 1 Aug.
S – U
From 7 – 25 Jan, the London International Mime Festival presents Trygve Wakenshaw: Only Bones V1.4. In the Upstairs space, Alexis Gregory’s Sex/Crime (“a dark comic queer thriller”) runs from 21 Jan – 1 Feb. From 30 – Jan – 8 Feb in the Theatre, Jayde Adams performs her Edinburgh Fringe hit The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, followed from 25 Mar – 2 May by Chloe Moss’s new play Run Sister Run.
The war musical Operation Mincemeat returns following a successful run this year at the New Diorama (4 – 11 Jan, written and perfirmed by SpitLip). A new play by Sam Steiner, You Stupid Darkness, produced by Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth, runs from 16 Jan – 22 Feb.
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Five shows have been announced for 2020: The Gift (29 Jan – 15 Feb, written by Janice Okoh), I Think We Are Alone (25 Feb – 21 Mar, produced by Frantic Assembly), Welcome to Iran (18 Apr – 16 May, written by Nadia Fall), a “bold and brutal new production” of Oliver Twist (28 May – 6 Jun), and boxing drama Sucker Punch (19 Jun – 25 Jul, by Roy Williams).
Productions of The Merchant of Venice and The Great Gatsby are in planning.
Trafalgar Studios 2
Kevin Elyot’s Coming Clean returns from 8 Jan – 1 Feb, following a previous sell-out, critically acclaimed run. Opera Undone perform their radical double-bill of Puccini’s Tosca and La Boheme from 5 Feb – 7 Mar, distilling the operas to an hour each.
Two productions have been announced: Turtles Don’t Like Plastic, which runs 11 – 12 Jan (“physical theatre, puppetry and clowning combine in this magical under-the-sea eco-adventure”); and Broken English, which runs 20 – 22 Jan (” a contemporary depiction on the journey of the English language, using performance poetry, physical theatre and traditional drama”).
V – X
The Vault Festival takes place between 28 January and 22 March. It will utilise four venues this year: The Vaults, Network Theatre, Vaulty Towers pub, and The Horse & Stables pub (which will be the base for an exclusive stage run by Child.org).
Y – Z
Show announced here include Nora: A Doll’s House (6 Feb – 21 Mar, adapted from Ibsen by Stef Smith), Orfeus: A House Music Opera (14 Apr – 30 May, written by Nmon Ford), The Second Woman (June, a co-production with LIFT), Hamlet (6 Jul – 22 Aug, with Cush Jumbo), and Portia Coughlan (16 Sep – 31 Oct, with Ruth Negga).