Why we need more plays like Nine Night and less like Absolute Hell
Review: The Inheritance, Young Vic - an epic tale of love, loss and life but was it better than Angels?

Round up: That was April in London theatre - Monster casting and A-list actor spots

MTNEW* I'm excited and nervous about the forthcoming stage adaptation of Patrick Ness’s novel A Monster Calls (the book is a favourite) but I couldn’t think of a better actor than Matthew Tennyson to take on the lead Conor. The production will have a run at the Bristol Old Vic from May 31 and the Old Vic from July 7.

* David Haig’s play Pressure (in which he also stars) is transferring from Park Theatre to the Ambassadors following a successful run at the Finsbury venue. Malcolm Sinclair and Laura Rogers co-star.

* Stan-fav Adam Gillen has been cast in Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios, which stars Orlando Bloom and I'm really looking forward to seeing him in something very different to Amadeus. You can see photos of the cast in rehearsal over at What's On Stage and previews start on May 18.

* Kilburn's Tricycle Theatre has been renamed the Kiln Theatre post refurbishment with a new season that includes the UK premiere of Florian Zeller’s The Son.

* In a new twist on role swapping (recent role swaps: Mary Stuart, Almeida; RSC's Doctor Faustus and NT's Frankenstein to name just three) Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden are to alternate playing Isabella and Angelo in Measure For Measure at the Donmar Warehouse.

* There is part of me that is excited and really curious and part of me that thinks: 'Gimmick to get repeated visits'. There is one version I'd particularly like to see but no way of knowing, having booked at ticket whether I'll get it. Previews start September 28.

* Tuppence Middleton will step into shoes previously filled by Phoebe Waller-Bridge to play Join The One at Soho Theatre from July 5.

* London is to get its first dedicated immersive theatre space called The Buzz. It opens in Borough with an immersive production of Thunderbird in November.

Celebrity spots:

Poly spotted Imelda Staunton in Covent Garden and then Jonjo O’Neill front of house before curtain up at the Royal Court. My international spotters also saw Daniel Day-Lewis on the subway in New York.

On a visit to a preview screening at BAFTA, I spotted Adjoah Andoh (Casca in the recent Bridge production of Julius Caesar), David Baddiel and Mark Kermode (I'm a fan of MK's film podcast so he counts as a celeb).

And my eagle-eyed friend Rachel spotted The Wire actor Michael K Williams at Nine Night at the National Theatre - I've never watched The Wire so he would otherwise have gone unnoticed if Rachel hadn't been with me.

April theatre highlights:

Nine Night at the National Theatre was a breath of fresh air and an amazing audience experience and it was a good month for fringe with Coconut at the Ovalhouse and Plastic at the Old Red Lion strong contenders for best-of lists.

April theatre lowlights:

Urgh, Absolute Hell, National Theatre - the colourful characters couldn't make up for barely-there plot and three-hour running time.