10 UK theatre shows to see in October

Chris Wiegand
·3-min read

Death of England: Delroy

Roy Williams and Clint Dyer’s Death of England was a turbocharged monologue grappling with national identity. Now it has a sequel, performed by Giles Terera, who was sensational as Hamilton’s Aaron Burr. A newly reconfigured in-the-round Olivier theatre is the room where it happens.
National Theatre, 21 October-28 November

Sunny Side Up

One of the UK’s most performed playwrights, John Godber, serves up a B&B seaside drama in which he stars alongside his wife, Jane Thornton, and their daughter Martha. Expect an exploration of Britishness with an extra helping of humour.
Stephen Joseph theatre, Scarborough, 28-31 October

Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show

How do you follow up a shot-by-shot remake of Night of the Living Dead? The ever-enterprising experimenters imitating the dog present another feverish horror. Staged outdoors, it promises a tale of “mischief and immorality” told by the mysterious Dr Blood.
Playhouse Square, Leeds, 7-8 October; then touring until 24 October

The Ballad of Corona V

Back in spring, the Big House – a theatre centre for young care leavers – was one of the first venues to announce a socially distanced production. The Ballad of Corona V sets out to respond to the pandemic with a mix of anger, humour and music.
The Big House, London, 28 October-21 November

The Gods the Gods the Gods

Yorkshire’s Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre make spellbinding, often outdoor shows that can make your spirits soar. Here, they weave stories and songs of ancient myth through the material of everyday life.
Theatr Clwyd, Mold, 3-4 October

Quarter Life Crisis

Yolanda Mercy’s solo show about love, London and Lagos was a hit at the Edinburgh fringe and broadcast on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Now Mercy brings it to the Bridge as part of a season that includes Inua Ellams’ An Evening With an Immigrant, Zodwa Nyoni’s Nine Lives, David Hare’s corona memoir Beat the Devil, and a handful of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.
Bridge theatre, London, 7-17 October

​Bubble

James Graham considered the impact of the pandemic on teenagers in one of the best contributions to Headlong’s Unprecedented series of pandemic shorts. Now, he turns his attention to a new couple whose romance is blooming just as lockdown is announced. Live stream also available.
Nottingham Playhouse, 23-24 October

The Minack theatre in Cornwall.
Watch out for dolphins ... the Minack theatre in Cornwall. Photograph: Kevin Britland/Alamy

Loveplay

Cornwall’s Minack was one of the first outdoor theatres to reopen during the pandemic and has had a roaring summer. Its October programme includes Moira Buffini’s century-hopping Loveplay, tracking amorous encounters through the ages on a single spot of land. Wrap up warm and watch out for dolphins.
Minack theatre, Porthcurno, 14–23 October

Here’s What She Said to Me

Like many venues around the UK, Sheffield Theatres is fighting for its future. The organisation, which comprises three stages, will keep its Lyceum and Studio theatres closed until spring next year. But the Crucible reopens this month for the Together season, starting with Oladipo Agboluaje’s account of three generations of Nigerian women.
Sheffield Crucible, 30 October-14 November

Rent

“How do you measure a year?” So asks Jonathan Larson in Seasons of Love, from his Broadway smash Rent. If your year has felt empty without a jolt of musical theatre then Hope Mill’s revival should be perfect. And what a break from our diet of monologues: a glorious cast of 12 are directed by Luke Sheppard.
Hope Mill, Manchester, 30 October-6 December