Opening: Spacey’s Richard, Misery, Whore & PaulDate: 3 October 2005
Among the major shows opening in London this week are:
OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 3 October 2005, (previews from 28 September) Michael Praed and Susan Penhaligon star in a stage version of Stephen King’s thriller Misery at the north London’s King’s Head Theatre (see News 9 Sep 2005). Praed plays popular novelist Paul Sheldon who, after a car accident, becomes captured by his ‘number one fan’, reclusive nurse Annie Wilkes (Penhaligon). Directed by Alan Cohen, it runs to 30 October 2005.
ALSO TONIGHT, John Ford’s Tis Pity She's A Whore, in which a brother and sister’s violent love for each other has catastrophic results, is revived at Southwark Playhouse for a run to 22 October 2005, with a cast that includes Edmund Kingsley, son of Ben (See News, 22 Sep 2005).
OPENING TUESDAY, 4 October 2005 (previews from 14 September), at the West End’s Old Vic, Trevor Nunn directs the theatre’s artistic director Kevin Spacey making his UK Shakespearean debut in the title role of Richard II for a run to 26 November 2005 (See News, 10 Feb 2005). The cast of the bard’s history play also includes Peter Eyre, Julian Glover, Oliver Cotton and Ben Miles.
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OPENING WEDNESDAY, 5 October 2005 (previews from 29 September), Bashment, Rikki Beadle-Blair’s play about homophobia in the reggae world returns to east London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East (See News, 3 May 2005). The drama - written by, directed by and with music by Beadle-Blair - runs to 22 October 2005.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 4 October), James Thieree (grandson of Charles Chaplin) brings his production of La Veillee des Abysses, first seen at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last year, to the Peacock Theatre for a short season to 15 October 2005.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 4 October), Hush, a controversial new play exploring Oedipal paranoia by 26-year-old Canadian writer Samantha Wright transfers to London’s Pleasance Theatre for a season to 22 October 2005. The play was first seen at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
OPENING THURSDAY, 6 October 2005 (previews from 30 September), at the National Theatre, Howard Brenton’s latest play Paul receives its world premiere at the NT Cottesloe (See News, 4 Aug 2005). The play about the saint who renounced his former life, changed his name and devoted himself to preaching the gospel, has already attracted complaints from some Christian groups (See The Goss, 14 Sep 2005). The cast includes Paul Rhys in the title role, with Kellie Bright as Mary Magdalene. The production, directed by Howard Davies, continues in rep until 4 February 2006.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 4 October), Justin Butcher’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning one-man play Scaramouche Jones, subtitled The Seven White Masks, is revived at Greenwich Playhouse for a run to 23 October 2005, starring David Milne.
ALSO ON THURSDAY, the Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court premieres a promenade adaptation of Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford, adapted by Keith Dewhurt and featuring a cast of 13 actor-musicians, presented in two parts that can be seen in either order, separately or together, or both on Saturdays. Candleford joins the repertoire tonight; Lark Rise is already playing. Together, they run until 29 October 2005.
OPENING FRIDAY, 7 October 2005 (previews from 5 October), Monkey's Uncle, a new farce by David Lewis, opens at Richmond’s Orange Tree (See News, 27 Jul 2005). The play sees great farceur Georges Feydeau (whose plays have been regularly produced at the theatre) struggle to cope as his latest plot and his hectic life begin to merge. The comedy runs to 5 November 2005.
OPENING SUNDAY, 9 October 2005 (preview 8 October), Undo, a new multi-media performance piece from award-winning artist Mem Morrison in which he returns to south-east London (where he grew up) to track down and confront the bullies who tormented him in his youth, is presented at the Drill Hall for a run to 23 October.
- by Caroline Ansdell