Richard Bean’s adaptation of Goldoni’s 18th-century Italian comedy, now set in a louche Brighton in 1963 could well be the funniest show in town. An unexpectedly nimble James Corden proved a humorous hero/narrator as the servant when the show debuted; he's now capably replaced by Owain Arthur in the production's new home, the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1Y, until Sep 1
Richard Fleeshman as Sam Caissie Levy as Molly in Ghost, The Musical. Photo: Alaistar Muir
The new musical version of the hit film proves a guilty pleasure, blessed with some terrific illusions, thrilling high-tech designs and real heart, humour and suspense in its beyond-the-grave love story between a murdered Wall Street banker and his bereaved girlfriend. The great Sharon D Clarke steals the show as the delightfully feisty medium Oda Mae Brown.
Piccadilly theatre, London W1, until October 13, 2012
Simon Russell Beale as Joseph Stalin and Alex Jennings as Mikhail Bulgakov. Image: Alastair Muir
Disturbing and darkly comic, John Hodge's drama depicts Stalin's cat-and-mouse games with the writer Mikhail Bulgakov. Superb acting and a gripping story mean even audiences unfamiliar with this period of history will be gripped. The play recently won the Olivier award for best play, and it's said that Stalin himself watched performances of the production some 15 times.
National Theatre, London SE1, June 23
A gloriously gory masterpiece of a musical, Sweeney Todd is a blood-splattered and exhilirating romp through the legend of the demon barber. Exceptional performances by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton will leave you laughing, gasping and shivering.
Adelphi Theatre, London WC2, until Sept 22
Directed by Anthony Page, this powerful production of Eugene O'Neill makes for harrowing, challenging viewing but the dramatic rewards are ample compensation. Based on O'Neill's youth, the play features David Suchet as his embittered father and Laurie Metcalfe as his drug-addict mother. Deeply personal to the writer and moving to the audience, it's a draining, demanding and ultimately invigorating theatrical experience.