Rough Magic's 'Jezebel'
Experimental feature

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Experimental feature

Jezebel, Soho Theatre, London

Dublin-based company Rough Magic presents a comedy by Mark Cantan that won the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary.

Alan and Robin are a couple whose sex life has got into the doldrums. Could a threesome with lonely singleton Jezebel be the answer for all three of them? Probably not, but that’s not going to stop them from trying. Sarah Hemming, 020 7478 0100, previews from August 12, opens August 14, to August 31

Men in the Cities, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

The highlight of this year’s Fringe programme at Edinburgh’s renowned Traverse Theatre is Chris Goode’s Men in the Cities, a loose weave of stories of men, lonely and often alone. It’s more storytelling than theatre, Goode standing at a microphone on a bare stage, his spotlight changing colour as he switches between characters. All the men are functioning members of society – all have homes, most have jobs and families – yet all are fearful of society’s judgment should they reveal their true selves. Framed by the 2013 murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, this is a masterly, relevant piece. Griselda Murray Brown, 0131 228 1404, to August 24

Unfaithful, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Also on the Fringe, acclaimed playwright Owen McCafferty’s Unfaithful follows two troubled, tangled relationships. The older couple have “grown out of the way of being alone together”; too late to start again, when the wife discovers her husband has been adulterous she feels “not cheated on but cheated of – cheated of time”. The younger couple are more sketchily drawn but McCafferty writes with empathy and a wry humour that makes for an absorbing – if painful – hour. GMB, 0131 228 1404, to August 24

The Ring Cycle Plays, The Scoop, London

The significant word in the title of this show is the word “play”: for most of us, the story of the Ring of the Nibelung, is indelibly associated with Wagner’s epic operatic work. No “Ride of the Valkyries” here, however: Phil Willmott’s playful production for Gods and Monsters Theatre Ltd will tell the Norse saga in four short plays adapted from the opera librettos – The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and The Twilight of the Gods – each 45 minutes long. It’s a free, family friendly show, designed for everybody over nine, and, at four hours in total (though you don’t have to do the whole thing in one go), a fair bit shorter than the 15 or so hours it takes to watch the operas. No need to book – just turn up. The open air amphitheatre, just beside London’s City Hall, can take up to 1,000 people. SH, Wednesday-Sunday, now previewing, opens August 15, to August 31

Bad Jews, Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, Bath

Family get-togethers can be stressful – particularly in drama. Throw in a death and a contested family heirloom and sparks are sure to fly. So it proves in Joshua Harmon’s biting comedy, which was praised in New York and now gets its UK premiere under talented director Michael Longhurst. Two brothers, a cousin and a girlfriend convene in a cramped Manhattan apartment to argue their case – and soon the dispute widens to take in all sorts of issues to do with faith and family. SH, 01225 448844, previewing, opens August 12, to August 30

Holy Warriors, Shakespeare’s Globe, London

David Eldridge’s dramatisation gradually unfolds into the kind of history play that sits well in Shakespeare’s Globe before stylistic afterburners fire and propel the play into an audacious stratosphere. We see Richard the Lionheart and Saladin struggle for possession of 12th-century Jerusalem, first in period style, then in modern dress and language, with all the echoes of the intervening centuries, especially the last one. James Dacre oversees a beautifully pitched production of an ambitious play that offers no answers but asks the questions with more skill and nerve than most can muster. Ian Shuttleworth, 020 7401 9919, to August 24

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