This week’s best... theatre & dance performances

Adding Machine: A Musical | Séance | And Then Come the Nightjars | The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black, Black Oil | The Book Of Mormon | 2Faced Dance | Candoco Dance Company | Jasmin Vardimon Company

1 Adding Machine: A Musical

US playwright Elmer Rice looked at the effects of big business and mechanisation on the lives of ordinary people. One of his big successes was expressionistic 1923 drama The Adding Machine, in which humans are mere pawns in the corporate world. It may seem unlikely material for a musical reboot but Mr Zero – a worker on the cusp of being replaced by a machine – seems a very modern figure, and there’s an unusual degree of savage comic satire for a form that is often eager to please.

Finborough Theatre, SW10, to 22 October

2 Séance

From the continued success of The Woman In Black to Liverpool Playhouse’s 2015 adaptation of The Haunting Of Hill House, horror is big in theatre right now. Birmingham Rep is offering the UK premiere of the stage show of The Exorcist (21 October to 5 November). In a clever move, it’s being paired with this short show, staged in a shipping container in nearby Centenary Square. Glen Neath and David Rosenberg have been exploring the use of binaural technology in theatre for some time now, and Séance, a creepy, queasy miniature, is their most successful collaboration to date.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 18 to 29 October

3 The Book Of Mormon

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This irreverent musical recently won the dubious accolade of having the highest ticket prices in the West End. Even so, it’s a vastly entertaining evening. Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone’s slick show delivers a mix of musical pastiche, sharp wit and bad-taste jokes, yet still manages to come across as pretty wholesome.

Prince of Wales Theatre, W1, to 7 January

4 And Then Come the Nightjars

Bea Roberts knows about rural Britain and it shows in this small but beautifully observed two-hander. Set 12 years on from the foot-and-mouth epidemic, it depicts how farming never really recovered. Co-winner of 2014’s inaugural Theatre503 playwriting award, the play returns with its brilliant original cast.

The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, 15 October; Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 17 October; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, 19 & 20 October; Live Theatre, Derby, 21 October; touring to 22 October

5 The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black, Black Oil

Last chance to see Joe Douglas’s superb revival of John McGrath’s great 1973 work. While both play and production are fuelled by anger at the way Scotland has been plundered for economic gain, this is also a raucous evening of song, poetry and sketches.

Empire Theatre, Inverness, 15 October; Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 18 to 22 October

6 2Faced Dance

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Run. Photograph: Chris Nash

A provocative and politically resonant programme by Tamsin Fitzgerald and others, Run explores our fight-or-flight instincts.

Corn Exchange, Newbury, 19 October; touring to 30 November

7 Candoco Dance Company

As always, Candoco challenges expectations with its programming: a new work by Alexander Whitley is paired with Trisha Brown’s Set And Reset/Reset, specially staged for the company’s disabled and non-disabled dancers. Sadler’s Wells, EC2, 21-22 October; touring to 17 November

8 Jasmin Vardimon Company

Vardimon’s vivid Pinocchio adaptation combines text and dance to address what it means to be human.

Northcott Theatre, Exeter, 19-21; touring to 18 December

Contributors

Lyn Gardner & Judith Mackrell

The GuardianTramp

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