Opening: Guys & Dolls, LaBute 2, Wicked PericlesDate: 31 May 2005
It may be a bank holiday week but there’s little slowdown in the rate of openings. Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 31 May 2005 (previews from 26 May), at the Donmar Warehouse, Ben Chaplin, Megan Dodds and Idris Elba star in the European premiere of This Is How It Goes, the second of the month’s new plays by American dramatist Neil LaBute after last week’s world premiere of Some Girls starring Friends’ David Schwimmer (See News, 5 Apr 2005). Set in small-town America, the play centres on an inter-racial love triangle and questions notions of truth. The UK production is directed by Moises Kaufman (Gross Indecency, The Laramie Project).
Chaplin, returns to the Donmar, where he’s previously appeared in The Glass Menagerie. His other stage credits include Peaches and, last year on Broadway, Retreat from Moscow, for which he was Tony-nominated. He’s probably best known in the UK for playing agoraphobic Matt in BBC2’s Game On!. Following its limited Donmar season, which ends on 9 July 2005, This Is How It Goes will embark visit Bristol Old Vic and The Lowry, Salford Quays.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 1 June 2005 (previews from 19 May), at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre is the much-anticipated revival of Frank Loesser’s 1950 Broadway classic Guys and Dolls (See News, 13 Apr 2005). Another Donmar production - the first musical the company has originated beyond its 250-seat home venue - it’s directed by artistic director Michael Grandage.
Ewan McGregor makes his stage musical debut as gambling chancer Sky Masterson (See News, 8 Nov 2004). The other principals are Jenna Russell as his Salvation Army love interest Sarah Brown, and Douglas Hodge and Ally McBeal’s Jane Krakowski as fellow gambler Nathan Detroit and his long-suffering girlfriend Miss Adelaide (See News, 11 Jan 2005). The musical is booking until 4 March 2006, with limited contracts for McGregor and his co-stars which end in December 2005.
OPENING THURSDAY, 2 June 2005 (previews from 20 May), Corin Redgrave takes the title role in Pericles, the second production in this summer’s repertory season at Shakespeare’s Globe (See News, 1 Apr 2005). Redgrave was seen in London earlier this year with the Royal Shakespeare Company, taking the title roles in King Lear and Tynan. His other theatre credits include No Man’s Land, Not About Nightingales, A Song at Twilight and The Cherry Orchard. Pericles is directed by actress-turned-director Kathryn Hunter. It continues in rep until 2 October 2005.
ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 31 May), television magician Derren Brown’s new stage show, Something Wicked This Way Comes, opens at the West End’s Cambridge Theatre (See News, 13 Apr 2005). As with last summer’s Derren Brown Live, which had an extended stint at the Palace Theatre (See News, 14 Apr 2004), the new show’s London engagement follows an extensive, two-month UK-wide tour. Trained as a lawyer, Brown started his performing career in cafes and bars. His big break came in 1999 when Channel 4 asked him to put a show together for television. His hit Mind Control has since had several series. Something Wicked This Way Comes has a limited season until 18 June 2005.
ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 31 May), Mancub is presented at Soho Theatre in association with Vanishing Point (See News, 19 Apr 2005). Douglas Maxwell’s adaptation of John LeVert’s book The Flight of the Cassowary tells of Paul who’s trying to navigate his difficult teen years, especially as something very odd keeps happening to him. Maxwell’s other plays include If Destroyed True and Decky Does a Bronco. Mancub continues until 18 June 2005.
OPENING FRIDAY, 3 June 2005, The Rat Pack - Live from Live Vegas moves from the Strand Theatre to its new home at the Savoy Theatre (See News, 31 Mar 2005). The transfer marks the show’s third West End venue, having started at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in March 2003. The musical tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, featuring look- and sound-alikes of each, is initially booking at the Savoy until 19 November 2005.
- by Hannah Kennedy