Things I Know to Be True and Wayne McGregor: this week’s best of UK theatre and dance


1 Things I Know to Be TrueThis collaboration between physical theatre company Frantic and the State Theatre Company of South Australia, is a delicate look into family dynamics and how even apparently gold families have their problems. Love does not always inoculate against the misery, and the parents can’t stop worrying for their children or confining them to wait – even when the children are grown. Part soap opera and part exploration of conscious and unconscious impulses, this is an imaginative and tender evening full of joy and melancholy. The Oxford Playhouse, on the 30th of September; The Lowry, Salford, 3-7 October; touring to 3 February

2 PalmyraBertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas is cleverly built two-curve – named after the ancient Syrian city – offers a playful and universal look at how conflicts happen and the escalation, the creation of cycles of violence. Part of the Orbit festival, this is a brilliantly made piece that works on many levels, as the initial larkiness is transformed into a spectacle of destruction. If you can, try also to see the duo companion piece, Eurohouse, a comic look at the EU’s founding ideals. HOUSE, Manchester, 3-4 October

3 How to Win Against HistoryHeading at London’s Young Vic, this Christmas, this daft but very clever piece of music-theatre focuses on Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquis of Anglesey, who has transformed his life into a performance, has lost a fortune and was written family history. A wonderful field, but in the final analysis, the movement of the chamber work, written and performed by Seiriol Davies, will not leave the silver spoon, Eton educated toff off the hook, but do not give him the chance to take his revenge. It is a delightfully strange. Pontio, Bangor, 5-6 October; on tour until December 30.

4 Girl From the North CountryYour last chance to catch Conor McPherson’s haunting play, which uses Bob Dylan catalog to tell a story of a small town American life during the Great Depression. Not all the critics have raved, but the combination of the Strut and Dylan is an inspiration. Do not think twice. Old Vic, SE1, to October 7,

5 Thebes LandYou do not want to miss the opportunity of Daniel Goldman brilliantly conceived staging by Sergio Blanco is a metatheatrical play that explores what leads a son to kill his father. In reality, this is much less of Oedipus impulses of these acts and more on the way to build and tell stories. To play on this idea with a twist and a slippery narrative that may seem tricksy, but it’s not: as soon as you fully grip.Arcola theatre, E8, to the 7th of October

Sea legs … Abigail Prudames (Marilla) and Joseph Taylor (Prince Adair) The little Mermaid. Photo: Emma Kauldhar

1 Company Wayne McGregor: AutobiographyAt the heart of this personal work, McGregor’s discovery of his personal genome sequenced to him by geneticists, and refracted through the prism of the school of dance and imagination. Sadler’s Wells, EC1, 4-7 October

2 A Celebration of Kenneth MacMillanAs British ballet marks the 25th anniversary of MacMillan’s death, the Northern Ballet test against the narrative and music, the intensity of the Concerto, Las Hermanas and Glory.Alhambra theatre, Bradford, October 5-7

3 The Small MermaidDavid Nixon joins forces with the composer Sally Beamish to adapt the Hans Christian Andersen tale for the ballet stage. Norwich Theatre Royal, September 30, on tour until 5 May