5 of the best shows

The Guardian - The Guide - - Stage - Mark Cook

Leave to Re­main Lyric Ham­mer­smith, W6, Fri to 16 Feb

Bloc Party’s Kele Ok­ereke (pic­tured, with direc­tor Robby Gra­ham) is one of the team be­hind this pro­duc­tion in­volv­ing mu­sic and move­ment. The story – by Matt Jones, who has also writ­ten for Mr Sel­fridge and Doc­tor Who – is about a gay cou­ple who find their fu­ture thrown a curve­ball when one of their visas comes up for re­newal. One way around the prob­lem is mar­riage, but to do that means facing up to their fam­i­lies and their past.

Vi­o­let Char­ing Cross Theatre, WC2, Mon to 6 Apr

Com­poser Jea­nine Te­sori had a good 2018: her Fun Home was staged at the Young Vic and Caro­line, Or Change (writ­ten with Tony Kush­ner) has just trans­ferred to the West End with five-star re­views. Tonynom­i­nated mu­si­cal Vi­o­let – penned with Brian Craw­ley – is based on a short story, The Ugli­est Pil­grim, by Doris Betts, in which a fa­cially dis­fig­ured young woman in 1964 North Carolina em­barks on a lifechang­ing jour­ney across the US.

Stop and Search Ar­cola Theatre, E8, to 9 Feb

Stop and search has al­ways been a con­tro­ver­sial polic­ing tac­tic, not least for its tar­get­ing of cer­tain eth­nic groups, but with knife crime and ter­ror­ism on the in­crease it’s back on the po­lit­i­cal agenda. Ir­ishNige­rian poet Gabriel Gbadamosi widens the de­bate on the is­sue in his play by fo­cus­ing on three sto­ries: a young man cross­ing Europe, two po­lice of­fi­cers on a sur­veil­lance case, and a pas­sen­ger in a taxi cab.

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