(Lyn Gardner’s and Mark Cook’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/18.)
You must have had your head in a bucket of quick-drying cement if you haven’t seen James Norton on TV of late: as murderer Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley, Prince Andrei in War And Pace and Grantchester’s cute parson sleuth. He’s certainly versatile (and busy). Now he takes to the stage at the new pop-up Found 111 on Charing Cross Road, the venue that had a hit over Christmas with The Dazzle. Norton joins Kate Fleetwood (who recently played Medea at the Almeida) in Bug, the pair star as a war vet and a lonely cocktail waitress in a play set in a motel room in Oklahoma City. Tracy Letts, who also penned August: Osage County, premiered Bug at Notting Hill’s Gate Theatre in 1996, while a 2006 film version starred Michael Shannon, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.
Found 111, WC2, Thu to 7 May
The Shepherd’s Life Keswick
In 2015, James Rebanks’s account of life on the Lake District fells became an unlikely bestseller. A deserved one, too: it exquisitely observes the seasonal rhythms of hill farming and the blood and sweat required to get through the winter. Rebanks doesn’t romanticise (although his accounts of bringing the sheep in from the hills are highly poetic); instead, he paints a loving portrait of a gruelling life that involves digging sheep out of snow in the winter. It may not sound like an obvious page-to-stage adaptation, but Theatre By The Lake seems the right home for one, and the production will use film, puppetry and music to bring the fells inside.
Theatre By The Lake, Fri to 23 Apr