A German Life 6 May to 11 April by Christopher Hampton Drawn from the true testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel, of her life that spanned the twentieth century. She struggled to make ends meet as a secretary in Berlin during the 1930s, her many employers including a Jewish insurance broker, the German Broadcasting Corporation and, eventually, Joseph Goebbels. Maggie Smith, alone on stage, plays Brunhilde Pomsel. NATIONAL THEATRE SOUTHBANK, SE1 9PX 020 7452 3000 Downstate 12 March to 27 April by Bruce Norris In downstate Illinois, four men convicted of sex crimes against minors share a group home where they live out their lives in the shadow of the offences they committed. A man shows up to confront his childhood abuser — but does he want closure or retribution? Small Island 17 April to 10 August by Andrea Levy An epic, Orange Prize-winning novel bursts to new life on the Olivier stage. A company of 40 tells a story which journeys from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. Small Island follows three intricately connected stories. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK. Top Girls 26 March to 22 June by Caryl Churchill Now hiring: top girls wanted for prestige positions. Must be self-motivated go-getters with an appetite for success. No timewasters. Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her. Tartuffe To 30 April by Molière A ferocious new version of Molière’s comic masterpiece. Orgon is the man who has everything. Money, power, a beautiful home and family. But lately he’s been questioning the point of it all. When he invites the irresistible Tartuffe into his seemingly perfect household, he unleashes a whirlwind of deception and seduction that threatens everything. Follies To 11 May Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical includes such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind. SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE 56 PARK STREET, SE1 9AR 020 7261 9565 Edward II To 20 April by Christopher Marlowe King Edward recalls his lover, Gaveston, from banishment and sets in motion a chain of events that will culminate in some of the most shocking scenes in all of early modern theatre. Threatened by the preferment shown to the‘upstart’ Gaveston, and exasperated by Edward’s neglect of matters of state, the king’s nobles join forces with Queen Isabella and the clergy to plot the downfall of Edward’s circle of flatterers, and ultimately of the king himself. Top Girls at the National Theatre | C U L T U R E | 24 THE RIVER MAGAZINE | Spring 2019 P H O T O B Y R O S A L I N E S H A H N A V A Z