Stage blog: King Lear at the Olivier; Rapture, Blister Burn at Hampstead; Ciphers at Bush
★ Stage | Beale takes the crown
One of the theatrical events of 2014 is already under way with Simon Russell Beale taking on the role of King Lear under the direction of Sam Mendes.
Tickets have already gone for the initial run (except some day tickets) and new ones will be released in February.
In the meantime, listen to the critics swoon (we predict) as once more the aged king divides his lands between his daughters.
From Jan 14, Olivier, National Theatre, £12-£50, nationaltheatre.org.uk.
★ Stage | Can women have it all?
Can women have it all is the age-old but never answered question behind Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn at Hampstead Theatre.
Emilia Fox and Emma Fielding are the two graduates who take opposite paths.
Catherine builds a career as an academic while Gwen stays at home with a husband and children.
Both are unfulfilled and each sees aspects of the other's life that they covet.
Until Feb 22, Hampstead Theatre, £15-£32, hampsteadtheatre.com.
★ Stage | A spy in our midst
Bush Theatre is making quite a name for itself in its new home and the latest staging is an ingenious spy thriller called Ciphers.
A young woman is found dead. Her sister sets out to find out what happened, and stumbles into a world of secrets and subterfuge that makes her question who Justine really was. How well can you ever know someone who lies for a living?
Until Feb 8, Bush Theatre, £10-£19.50, bushtheatre.co.uk.