Theatre

East is East

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East is East is a priceless modern classic about the tensions among conflicting cultures in multiracial Britain.

Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan (played by the author Ayub Khan Din) wants his children to remember and abide by their Pakistani roots.

He makes every effort to bring them up in a strict Muslim household, despite the fact that his family were born and raised in 1970s Salford.

The Angry Brigade

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Angry Brigade

This brilliant first production of James Graham’s The Angry Brigade is a play of two halves. The story of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group focuses on 1971 and the setting of a number of small explosions by a small group of anarchists in London.

They target an MP, a Commissioner of Police, an embassy and the Royal Albert Hall where the Miss World Pageant is taking place, hosted by the sexist comedian Bob Hope. It’s a true story.

Regeneration

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Regeneration

In 1916 the physician-superintendent of Edinburgh Asylum claimed that the First World War “did not appear to have increased the amount of insanity”. His colleague at Glasgow Asylum went further: the “abundance of occupation…[and] absorbing interest in the national crisis…had thus increased and not diminished the mental stability and general health of the nation”.

A new stage adaptation of Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy about the treatment of “war neurosis”, or post-traumatic stress disorder, among officers at Edinburgh’s Craiglockhart Military Hospital gives the lie to this.

Little Revolution

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Almeida Theatre, London, until 4 October
Little Revolution depicts the riots of summer 2011 through the diverse voices of Hackney residents. The playwright, Alecky Blythe, who appears as herself, constructed the script from the recordings of real people that she made at the time. The actors reproduce the voices, accents and exclamations word for word, weaving these snippets of conversation into a vivid narrative.

Mr Burns

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Mr Burns

Almeida Theatre, London, until 26 July

If you were given the task of preserving culture for future generations what would you save? Gilbert and Sullivan or Eminem? Shakespeare or the Simpsons? How much would you remember? And would you remember it right?

Mr Burns is described as a post-electric play. It opens with the audience plunged into darkness and a small group of people on stage around a camp fire. We know something has happened but are never really clear what. Few people are left alive. Nuclear power stations have gone up in flames and there is no power.

Theatre: 1984

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Playhouse Theatre, Until 23 August

We all know about 1984, whether we have read the book or not. George Orwell wrote it just as the world was staggering out of the most brutal war ever, with the Stalinist regime victorious in the East, and McCarthyism taking hold in the US. But it has become shorthand for any discussion of state repression, surveillance and attacks on civil liberties.

This May Hurt a Bit

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On tour until 21 June

This is a play unashamed to convey an urgent message. Always politically contested, charged with determination, goodwill and wry humour, always short of resources - the audacity and optimism of the National Health Service project itself are reflected by the structure and presentation of the play.

The cast of eight skilfully swap between characters we recognise and some developed for the story.

The Silver Tassie

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Lyttleton Theatre, London, until 3 July

Sean O'Casey is best known for his "Dublin Trilogy" - the trio of plays dealing with the Irish Revolution and Civil War that made his name as a playwright. The Silver Tassie is less known, but this revival is timed to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War. And being an O'Casey play, it brilliantly captures the shattering impact of the conflict on the lives of those who took part in it.

The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time

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Gielgud Theatre, London, from 24 June

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" is a touching and humanising insight into the autistic mindset of Christopher Boone. The play is a heartening exploration of truth, pain and complication. This adaptation is a triumph, and the setting I saw it in is a step in the right direction for art.

The show played at the West End's Apollo Theatre from March last year until, on 19 December, the ceiling fell in during an evening performance and 70 to 80 people were injured, seven seriously.

The Duck House

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Vaudeville Theatre, London, until 29 March 2014

"I don't want a real job, I want to be an MP!" The ironic words of Ben Miller's ill-fated character Robert Houston echoes through the theatre to be met with a loud and hearty laugh from the audience.

The words pose the crucial questions. What does it really mean to be an MP and what is their purpose? What sort of heartless individuals would spend hard earned taxpayers' money on duck houses, manure and glittery toilet seats?

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