Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: This is how you will disappear; Clybourne Park; The Marriage of Alice B; The Tempest

Thursday, 17th March — By Lucy Popescu

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The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein is at the Jermyn Street Theatre

GISÈLE Vienne’s This is how you will disappear is a giant installation as well as a dance piece. It explores the shifting depths of a forest with a sinister secret. In this ominous, foggy setting, three figures – a young athlete, her coach and a rock star – come together in an epic tableau that evokes the underlying battle between society and the self. Sadler’s Wells, March 18-19.

Bruce Norris’s award-winning Clybourne Park is a satire about the politics of race and real estate. In 1959, Russ and Bev are moving to the suburbs after the tragic death of their son and have sold their house to the neighbourhood’s first black family. Decades later, the roles are reversed when a young white couple buys the lot in what is now a predominantly black neighbourhood, signalling a new wave of gentrification. In both instances, a community showdown takes place. Park Theatre, until April 23.

• Edward Einhorn’s The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein is at the Jermyn St Theatre until April 16. Everyone’s invited to the wedding of the century. Picasso has arrived with one of his wives, and two of his mistresses. Hemingway is here too with his wife and favourite matador. And at the top table are the brides, literary superstars Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, presiding over a banquet of conversation about art, genius, sex, fame and love. Four brave actors play over 30 characters in this marriage farce.

The Tempest is at the Cockpit Theatre until March 19. This time-shifting production mixes the Elizabethan world with the 1950s painter’s studio that is Prospero’s desert island. Betrayed by family and peers and racing against time to complete a masterwork, Prospero must choose between violent retribution, and forgiveness. Much Ado About Nothing is on March 22-23. Returning home to Messina after distinguishing themselves on the battlefield, a group of soldiers become politically and romantically entangled. Chief among them is Benedick whose mettle is continually tested by the razor-tongued Beatrice. As plots and counter-plots pile up, Benedick and Beatrice find themselves on a collision course for romance.

• A revue crammed full of songs and billed as “a century of Jewish Cinema in one show”, is Upstairs at The Gatehouse until April 17. The Jews of Hollywood sold the world a Technicolor fantasy of American life. Jewish Hollywood tells stories of ambition and sacrifice and explores the rebirth of Jewish cinema in the 1960s – giving rise to stars like Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen and Bette Midler. upstairsatthegatehouse

Scene & Heard present The Catch-Up Plays at Theatro Technis from March 24-27. Ten mini plays written by the children of Somers Town and performed by theatre professionals who volunteer their time and dedicate their talents to this unique charity.

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