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Phil Willmott

Last Chance to See... - Spring 2017

With so much great theatre on in London it's easy to miss fantastic productions. It can feel as if as soon as you get round to booking to see some critically acclaimed show it's already closing and you've lost your chance. So here's a run down of the top productions with their closing dates which you should book to see right now before they disappear in their current form.

Closing 29 Apr 2017: The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of Yorks Theatre

It was always going to be a risky business transferring a U.S. production without British stars to the competitive West End. You've probably never heard of Cherry Jones who makes such a mesmerising job of playing the suffocating matriarch of a shabby genteel family living in depression era America. An undisputed masterpiece by Tennessee Williams this depiction of the thwarted loves and dreams which haunt a family of 3 in their little apartment is a must-see that will occupy your mind for weeks afterwards. Quality theatre like this will always succeed if the public latches on to what's on offer and ticket buyers and Olivier Award judges quickly warmed to Jones's extraordinary performance in this delicate, captivating play, making the production an unexpected hit. Don't miss it.

Closing 29 Apr 2017: Travesties at the Apollo Theatre

I hate Tom Stoppard's smug comedy of literary conceits which juxtaposes important moments and figures from pre-war Europe through the false memories of a British Diplomat. You really do need an in depth understanding of the literature and politics of the period to truly get the jokes; however many people have enjoyed the feeling of intelligence the piece engenders in its audience. It's unlikely to be revived any time soon or in a better acted and directed production so if you've a desire to see one of our top playwrights at his most esoteric hurry up and book for one of last performances.

Closing 6 May 2017: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Old Vic.

More intellectual summersaults from Tom Stoppard in this welcome revival of his answer to Waiting for Godot from the early seventies which used to be regularly studied in schools. The two title characters play small roles in the story of Hamlet and Stoppard abandons them in a no mans land to contemplate the nature of their existence. Daniel Radcliffe (Star of the Harry Potter movie franchise) plays Rosencrantz which has ensured plenty of sold out performances but there are just a few tickets left if you snap them up right now.

Closing 13 May 2017: Twelfth Night at the National Theatre

The main attraction of this revival has been TV comedy star Tamsin Greig playing the traditionally male role of the unctuous servant Malvolio. It works beautifully amidst all the sexual ambiguity of Shakespeare's lively comedy set on an island where mistaken identity and odd romances abound, themes beautiful brought to the surface in Simon Godwin's witty, sexy modern dress production set on the party isle of Ibiza. People will be referencing this landmark production for years to come so it's definitely worth grabbing a ticket.