Susan, US & THEM & Almeida's Lady Get ExtensionsDate: 3 June 2003
Three London plays have confirmed extra performances for their variously limited seasons: Anglo-American comedy US and THEM at Hampstead Theatre, Ibsen revival The Lady from the Sea at the Almeida and the one-woman piece Unsuspecting Susan at the King's Head Theatre.
At the newly reopened Almeida Theatre in Islington, the run of The Lady from the Sea - directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Natasha Richardson - has sold out, but two extra matinees have now been added - on Thursdays 19 and 26 June 2003 at 3.00pm - to meet additional demand.
Ibsen's 1888 drama, in a new version by Pam Gems, centres on Ellida (Richardson), trapped in a stifling marriage to a widower and haunted by a love from her past to the point of obsession. The production is the first for Nunn after stepping down as artistic director at the National and the first under the reign of the Almeida's new artistic director Michael Attenborough.
It is also the first production at the Almeida after more than two years' closure during a £7.6 million refurbishment. The Lady from the Sea opened on 15 May 2003 (previews from 8 May) and continues its limited season until 28 June.
Meanwhile, Unsuspecting Susan, Stewart Permutt's one-woman play, performed by Celia Imrie, has extended its limited season by three weeks. The play opened at the King's Head Theatre - also in Islington, around the corner from the Almeida - on 12 May 2003 (previews from 6 May) and had been scheduled to 15 June. It will now continue to 6 July 2003.
Susan Chester's life in Hampshire is never dull. Her best friend's husband just ran off with that trollop who runs the betting shop in Basingstoke, and then the friend ran off with a Buddhist guru to find nirvana in Bayswater. But Susan was far too busy rehearsing for her starring role in The Killing of Sister George to think much about that right now. Then her son Simon committed a crime that shook the world.
And finally, at Hampstead Theatre, Tamsin Oglesby's US and THEM has added another week to its run, which opened on 28 May 2003 (previews 22 May) and is now booking to 5 July. In the world premiere comedy, a chance meeting between two couples - one English and one American - provides fertile ground for a dissection of the so-called "special relationship".
US and THEM stars British screen actor Hugh Bonneville, making his first stage appearance in seven years, as well as Harriet Walter, Siobhan Redmond and Matthew Marsh. It's directed by Hampstead's associate director Jennie Darnell.
- by Terri Paddock