AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best new play shortlist of 2017 so far

We awarded 12 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2016 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2017 so far and what’s to come. Temple and Oddshaped Balls are previous winners in this category.

  • Read on for our top 5 best new plays of 2017 so far and our hopes for the next half year

  1. Barber Shop Chronicles, Dorfman Theatre, National

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 18.13.08

Inua Ellams’ play set in half a dozen barber shops around the world explores father/son relationships in its exclusively male world. It returns to the Dorfman at the end of this year after a successful run there thus summer, which ends 8/7. Main picture by Marc Brenner features stars Cyril Nri and Fisayo Akinade.  Tickets. Our review

2. Cover My Tracks, Old Vic

Author David Greig last worked with songwriter Charlie Fink at this venue on the family-friendly The Lorax and here this gig theatre examines what happens when a pop star goes missing and a character played by the marvellous Jade Anouka sets out to find him. Our review

3. Ink, Almeida

Author James Graham proved prescient with This House and here turns his attention to the rise of the super, soaraway Sun in the 60s aided by star turns by Richard Coyle and Bertie Carvel (both above). Runs to 5/8. Picture via Facebook courtesy Almeida. Tickets Our review

4. Limehouse, Donmar

Author Steve Waters won a 2015 monsta for Temple at this venue for Best Play and here the action centres on the 1981 meeting of the Gang Of Four in the titular part of London where they gather to decide whether to split the Labour party. Picture via Facebook courtesy Donmar. Our review

5. Madame Rubinstein, Park Theatre

Author John Misto imagines the relationship between Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, given life by Frances Barber and Miriam Margoyles, in this comic and tragic tale of two driven women building their own cosmetics empires. Our review

New plays we’re excited for in 2017 include Girl From The North Country at the Old Vic (Tickets) and Mosquitoes at the National (Tickets).

  • Check out our tips and hopes in each of the remaining 11 categories on this site over the rest of the summer
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook


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