Opening: Follow My Leader, Hamlet, Coyote & LadsDate: 26 April 2004
Amongst the major London openings taking place this week are:
OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 26 April 2004 (previews from 21 April), Alistair Beaton’s new political satire with music, Follow My Leader, comes to north London’s Hampstead Theatre, following its premiere at Birmingham Rep (See News, 12 Mar 2004). Jason Durr and Stuart Milligan, as Tony Blair and George Bush, are joined by Peter Polycarpou in the topical piece subtitled “Making a Song and Dance About the War on Terror”. It continues until 15 May.
OPENING TUESDAY, 27 April 2004 (previews from 17 April), Trevor Nunn brings his new ‘student’ Hamlet to the West End’s Old Vic Theatre (See News, 3 Mar 2004). The former NT and RSC artistic director has intentionally cast undergraduate-aged actors as the prince and his peers, including Samantha Whittaker as Ophelia and Ben Whishaw in the title role. They’re joined in the Shakespeare tragedy by stage veterans Imogen Stubbs and Tom Mannion as Gertrude and Claudius, Hamlet’s mother and uncle-stepfather.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 28 April 2004 (previews from 22 April), the European premiere production of Bruce Graham’s Coyote on a Fence transfers to the West End’s Duchess Theatre, following its initial run at Manchester’s Royal Exchange (See News, 23 Mar 2004). Set on death row in a jail in the southern US, the play revolves around two prisoners, played by Ben Cross and Alex Ferns. Sarah Esdaile directs.
OPENING FRIDAY, 30 April 2004 (previews from 23 April), Roy Williams’ Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads returns to the National Theatre, for a limited season at the NT Cottesloe (See News, 5 Feb 2004). First seen as part in the temporary Lyttelton Loft as part of the NT’s 2002 Transformation season, Williams’ play takes place in a south London pub on the day of Euro 2000 football match between England and Germany. The cast, directed by Paul Miller, includes Ray Fearon, Gawn Grainger and Ashley Walters, otherwise known as rapper Asher D.
- by Terri Paddock