Stones, Damsels & Mamma Extend 2003 BookingDate: 18 October 2002
Three West End shows - Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets, Abba musical blockbuster Mamma Mia and Alan Ayckbourn's recently opened Damsels in Distress trilogy - announced extensions to their booking periods this week.
Marie Jones' multi award-winning Irish two-hander Stones in His Pockets, which this week (16 October) marked its 1,000th performance in the West End, has added another four months to run at the Duke of York's Theatre, where it's now taking bookings up to 31 May 2003. The current West End cast are Rupert Degas and Brian Doherty; a separate production continues a four-month UK-wide tour with Malcolm Adams and Hugh Lee. The play's many awards include the Whatsonstage.com, Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best Comedy and a Special Achievement Award from the Outer Critics Circle in New York.
At the Duchess Theatre, Ayckbourn's Damsels in Distress has extended six weeks up to 11 January 2003. The trilogy - comprising FlatSpin, GamePlan and RolePlay, all three utilising the same Docklands apartment set and seven-strong cast - premiered last summer at the playwright's own Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. It opened in the West End on 7 September 2002 (previews from 4 September) following two extensive regional tours. Since 30 September, RolePlay has assumed pole position, performed daily with the others presented just once a week on trilogy Saturdays (See News, 26 Sep 02).
Based on the songs of 1970s Swedish supergroup Abba, Mamma Mia opened at the West End's Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999 and has just extended its booking period by six months to 27 September 2003. A Broadway production of the musical opened in October 2001. Catherine Johnson's book sets the action on a Greek island where, on the eve of her wedding, young Sophie has gathered together her mum's three ex's in a bid to find out who her father is. The score includes Abba classics such as Dancing Queen, Thank You for the Music and Take a Chance on Me. The current cast features Louise Plowright, Laura Michelle Kelly and Paul Basleigh.
- by Terri Paddock