Bomber's Moon, Trafalgar Studios
Former RAF gunner Jimmy finds his routine disrupted when sensitive care assistant David arrives – and his cantankerous outlook and colourful language seem to be more than David can handle.
As Jimmy increasingly re-lives terror of his Second World War bombing raids, and David's new found faith is tested to breaking point, both men discover that a lasting peace is not easily won.
James Bolam and Steve John Shepherd star in this play from Made In Dagenham screenwriter William Ivory.
Trafalgar Studios, until May 23, 7.45pm (mats), £15-£25
Everyman is popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a search to recruit a friend to speak in his defence. But time is running out.
A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, it now explodes onto the stage in a startling production with words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos. Chiwetel Ejiofor takes the title role.
Olivier, from Apr 22, National Theatre, 7.30pm (mats), £15-£35
Don Q, Greenwich Theatre
Don Q reimagines Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote as a fast and furious romp.
Norman Vaughan has lost himself in books. Threatened with “incarceration in a home for the aged” he embarks on a quest to fulfill his destiny, taking loyal friend Sam along for the ride.
Norman and Sam become Don Q and Sancho, inept righters of wrongs and utterly incapable rescuers of the worthy, by chance putting the world to rights for those they least expect to help.
Greenwich Theatre, Apr 23-25, 7.30pm (mats), £16
Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s Globe
Double Olivier and Tony award winner Jonathan Pryce plays Shylock in his first appearance at Shakespeare’s Globe as the Bard dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy.
In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt to win the hand of Portia. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city but if the money cannot be repaid, Antonio will give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh.
Shakespeare’s Globe, Apr 23-Jun 7, 7.30pm (mats), £5-£43
Red Chair, Stratford Circus
Get a literal taste of Scottish heritage in Stratford next week – where there will be cake and whisky up for munching throughout the show.
Red Chair, from Clod Ensemble, is a contemporary take on storytelling traditions, which will be told in a rich and saucy Scots dialect.
Director Suzy Willson said: “It is both mythic and contemporary, funny and heartfelt. It speaks of family and of ancestry – all the while conjuring up the wild beauty of the Scottish landscape.”
Stratford Circus, April 23-26, various times, £8-£14
Titus, Greenwich Theatre
Smooth Faced Gentlemen, the UK’s only all-female Shakespeare troupe, bring their stripped-down, ramped-up and visceral retelling of the Bard’s tragedy of blind revenge and severed bloodlines, with style, wit, and gallons of bright red paint.
In the dying days of the Empire, Rome’s foremost families become embroiled in a spiral of revenge. As alliances (and limbs) are severed, can the memory of duty and compassion save a people who have lost their way?
Greenwich Theatre, Apr 28-May2, 7.30pm (mats), £16
A Mad World My Masters, Barbican
Transported to the seedy surroundings of 1950s Soho, Thomas Middleton’s wicked comedy arrives in London from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Turning con man to fool his rich uncle, Richard Follywit variously becomes a lord, a high-class call girl and a poor actor. But beautiful Soho tart, Miss Truly Kidman, is also on the scam.
In this boisterous world, the posh mix with musicians, prostitutes and racketeers; and a dashing bachelor in need of quick cash is forced to live on his wits.
Barbican, Apr 29-May 9, 7.30pm (mats), £10-£40