Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Machine de Cirque; Mayflower; The Haunting of Susan A; Calm Down Dear

Thursday, 26th May — By Lucy Popescu

Machine de Cirque_Gael-Della-Valle

Machine de Cirque

MACHINE de Cirque is at the Peacock Theatre from June 1-11. Finding themselves alone in the world, six guys embark on a quest to contact other survivors with the help of a strange machine. In a universe devoid of women and computers, they are easily distracted by flights of fantasy and share a talent for getting themselves into tricky situations. Featuring acrobatic skills, juggling clubs, a drum kit and even a bath towel, the show combines circus, spectacle, storytelling and live music.

Historia Theatre Company’s Mayflower, written by Kate Glover, is at the Hen and Chickens Theatre until June 11. The play commemorates the voyage of the “Pilgrim Fathers” in 1620. Determined men and women crossed the ocean from Plymouth, England to Plymouth Massachusetts, to worship in their own way. They faced huge odds: bullying by the venture capitalists of the day, sickness and death on board, leaking ships, terrifying storms, and personal heartbreak.

• In The Haunting of Susan A, Mark Ravenhill shares some of the history of the King’s Head, London’s oldest pub theatre, drawing on the traditions of a classic ghost story. But there are several memories hidden in the space. Echoes of a trauma from the past are pushing to manifest on stage. This is a site-responsive piece that invites you to become a part of local history. Gather round to hear the story. Not for the easily frightened. From June 1-26.

Feminist theatre festival Calm Down Dear is at Camden People’s Theatre until June 11. It showcases work that explores all forms of feminism. Highlights include Mummy Vs (May 28-29), which uncovers the guilt and parenting tropes in modern Britain told through the personal experiences of one unlikely parent. For karaoke queens, Dear Sophie Ellis Bextor (part of a WIP work in progress evening, May 30) is an autobiographical exploration of queer icons and finding yourself. Curfew (June 2) imagines the sad, frightening, funny, and hopeful experiences of women and non-binary people in public spaces at night in a world where men have a curfew.

• Catch Copperfield! The Musical Upstairs at The Gatehouse until June 5. This new musical, adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic, follows the fortunes of young David – born to a widowed mother, farmed out to a boarding school by his stepfather – and his triumph over adversity.

Girl on an Altar, Marina Carr’s re-telling of the infamous Greek myth, brings Clytemnestra’s story to the forefront and asks is it possible to forgive the unforgive­able? Clytemnestra’s world is torn apart when her husband, Agamemnon, sacrifices their daughter for the sake of war. Ten years on from this unthinkable tragedy, the couple are reunited. What follows is a dangerous battle of love, grief and power. At the Kiln Theatre until June 25.

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