The Invisible Hand (Kiln)
Nick Bright is a hotshot banker being held hostage in a cell in Pakistan by Islamic fundamentalists, including one born and bred in Hounslow. When his bank refuses to pay a ransom, Nick comes up with a bright idea: he’ll play the markets using his insider knowledge and make a killing, so securing his release. Ayad Akhtar’s plays about bull and bear markets is a clever contemporary thriller that encompasses a wealth of history and moral ambiguities and challenges economic and religious certainties. Indhu Rubasingham revisits a play she directed back in 2016 to rave reviews.
Last Easter (Orange Tree)
Pertness and poetry and life and death walk cheek by jowl in Bryony Lavery’s 2007 play, a hymn to friendship, alternative families and kinship. June, Gash, Leah and Joy are firm friends, all working in theatre in different roles, who are full of life. But when one of their number gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, they know they are going to need a miracle. Who couldn’t love a play that includes a Tesco Bag for Life as a means for assisted suicide? Not me. It may not be subtle, but it brims with wild humour, and celebrates living and dying with grace.
Political Mother: the Final Cut (BAC online)
Three days only from Friday for this film version of Hofesh Shechter’s extraordinary show filmed in Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall during lockdown. Shechter’s original piece, first performed in 2010, has a cinematic scope and should be thrilling when seen alongside the architecture of the space which is both spectacular of scale and full of nooks and shadowy Gothic corridors. This is dance as a political act, full of exhilarating and explosive choreography and wild defiance as it explores repression and rebellion. Dance which roars like a lion.