A cherry-pick some of the best on offer in the weeks to come
Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street
Beating Berlusconi! is based on the true story of a Liverpool FC fan who blagged his way into the AC Milan directors' box at the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, helped himself to free bubbly and salmon and then, when Liverpool fought back from 3-0 down to equalise, almost had a fight with the increasingly irritated Silvio Berlusconi. It's a one-man show performed by Paul Duckworth and along with the hilarious story, it tells of one man's attempt to rediscover his belief in himself, his club, his city and his class. Highly recommended.
George Bellows: Modern American Life
Royal Academy Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1
This exhibition is the first retrospective of works by US realist painter George Bellows to be held in Britain. In the 1920s he was considered one of the greatest artists in the US and his fascination with New York's gritty urban landscape, its technological marvels and the diversity of its inhabitants made him both an artist of the modern city and an insightful observer of the dynamic and challenging decades of the early 20th century.
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street
This contemporary version of Charles Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop tells the story of Nell, who lives with her grandfather in a vintage record store. When the shop is repossessed by Quilp, a vicious loan shark, Nell and her granddad find themselves homeless. While living rough they meet con men, Good Samaritans, wide boys and buskers in pubs, burger bars and doss houses across the length and breadth of England. Staged with huge projections of modern England and a soundtrack that ranges from Bach to Bowie, Presley to Professor Green, the production aims to show a country which is as much a cultural curiosity shop as it ever was in Dickens's day.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Quarry Hill
Until March 30
Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay has adapted this new play from Benjamin Zephaniah's acclaimed novel about arriving, belonging and finding home. It tells the story of Alem, a refugee from a violent civil war who's been abandoned by his father and the action follows his struggles to belong and find a true sense of home in a new country. The production is the centrepiece of Welcoming The World which celebrates Leeds' newest arrivals who have come to seek sanctuary in the city.