Coming soon in theatre this autumn: From Black Jesus to Blood & Chocolate


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The Independent Culture

Opening Tuesday at London’s Finborough is Black Jesus, activist playwright Anders Lustgarten’s imagining of Zimbabwe’s political future, directed by David Mercatali (to 26 Oct).

Thursday sees the arrival of Arnold Wesker revival, Roots, at the Donmar (to 30 Nov). A top cast is led by Call the Midwife’ s Jessica Raine: also a charismatic stage performer. The same night, York turns theatrical melting pot with Blood & Chocolate, staged round town with a local cast of 200 telling the story of the city’s chocolate industry in the First World War (to 30 Oct).

David Tennant and Gregory Doran reunite in Stratford-upon-Avon for Richard II (10 Oct to 16 Nov); it’s very sold out, but screens in cinemas on 13 Nov. Mojo is starry not just in cast – Rupert Grint, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Coyle – but also in creatives, coming from the pair behind Jerusalem: Ian Rickson directs Jez Butterworth’s comedy about 1950s Soho (Harold Pinter Theatre, London; 26 Oct to 5 Jan).

Perfect Nonsense is the latest PG Wodehouse outing; Matthew Macfadyen plays Jeeves, Stephen Mangan is Wooster. Fry and Laurie cast a long shadow, but this pair have the potential for equal comic bliss (Richmond Theatre, 10 to 19 Oct, then in Brighton and London). Another West End shoo-in is a new stage version of Strangers on a Train, with Laurence Fox, Jack Huston, Imogen Stubbs and MyAnna Buring (Gielgud Theatre;  2 Nov to 22 Feb).

Spy-drama Ciphers sees writer Dawn King reunited with Blanche McIntyre, who directed her lauded Foxfinders – a duo to watch: a tour begins at Exeter Northcott Theatre (16 to 19 Oct). Southwark Playhouse has Our Ajax, a modern military updating of Sophocles from the great Timberlake Wertenbaker (6 to 30 Nov). And David Storey’s classic Home gets an overdue revival at the Arcola in London (23 Oct to 23 Nov).