(Michael Billington’s and Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/30.)
This brilliant festival of high-quality work made by disabled artists returns. Look out for Liz Carr’s Assisted Suicide: the Musical, which considers the legalisation of suicide as a humane choice, and Cherophobia, in which Noemi Lakmaier will spend 48 hours attempting to lift her immobilised body off the ground using 20,000 helium balloons. There is plenty more, including a solo show fromBackstage in Biscuit Land’s Jess Thom.
• 6 to 11 September, Southbank Centre, London. Box office: 020-7960 4200.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Maxine Peake, following striking performances in Hamlet and The Skriker, now plays Blanche DuBois in the Tennessee Williams classic. It will be fascinating to see whether Peake plays Blanche as an embodiment of the poetic spirit rather than a cracked southern belle. With Sarah Frankcom directing and Ben Batt as Stanley Kowalski, the omens look good.
• 8 September to 15 October, Royal Exchange, Manchester. Box office: 0161-833 9833.
No Man’s Land
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, having bonded in a revival of Waiting for Godot, star in Sean Mathias’s production of Harold Pinter’s austere masterpiece about the meeting of an aged literary lion and a pushy minor poet. Owen Teale and Damien Molony play the manservants in a work that, with its echoes of Eliot and Beckett, ushers one into an unforgettable twilight zone.
• From 8 September, Wyndham’s, London. Box office: 0844-482 5120.