5 best theatre shows opening in May
Star-studded Shakespeare, a blockbuster Disney musical and provacative fringe: the London theatre shows to see this May
Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre,12 May
If ever you wanted proof that the bard's still got it 400 years after his death, this star-studded revival of his star-crossed lovers is sure to sizzle. New face of Burberry Lily James and Game of Thrones star turned Prince Charming Richard Madden reunite on stage after shining on screen in last year's live action remake of Cinderella. But this is more than Shakespeare with star power; with Derek Jacobi as Mercutio and Kenneth Branagh directing, there's plenty of classical clout in this revival.
Cuttin' It, The Young Vic, 20 May
Up-and-coming playwright Charlene James tackles the rituals and realities of female genital mutilation in an urgent new play co-produced by the Royal Court and Young Vic. It might not be easy watching but this tale of two Somalian school girls is the kind of provacative, pertinent theatre that we should be paying attention to. Cuttin' It premieres at the Young Vic's small Maria Theatre before touring around London and beyond.
Forbidden Zone, Barbican, 26 May
With a creative team including writer Duncan Macmillan (People, Places, Things) and maverick director Katie Mitchell (Cleansed) this avant garde show is told through performance and simultaneous live camera footage. Based on feminist accounts and the true story of the chemist whose husband created the substance used for mass killings in the war, it's weighty stuff. But, if the reviews from The Forbidden Zone's premiere at the Salzburg Festival are to be believed, it's well worth catching this short London run.
Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, 27 May
Watch out, The Lion King, there's a new blockbuster Disney musical coming to the West End. Aladdin arrives fresh from winning over crowds on Broadway. With topnotch creatives and a beloved songbook including 'Magic Carpet Ride' and 'A Whole New World', it's musical theatre at it's most flamboyant and family friendly.
The Spoils, Trafalgar Studios, 27 May
Hollywood actor and comic Jesse Eisenberg brings his trademark brand of millennial satire to the London stage this May as the play he wrote and stars in transfers after a triumphant New York premiere. Expect a razor-sharp exploration of the kind of awkward, analytical comedy for which Eisenberg is known, and book fast.