Opening: Whistle, Cuckoo's Nest & Rachel CorrieDate: 27 March 2006
Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:
OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 27 March 2006 (previews from 15 March), at the West Endís Palace Theatre is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinmanís 1998 musical Whistle Down the Wind. The show has a limited season, filling the gap between another Lloyd Webber musical, The Woman in White (which closed on 25 February), and Monty Pythonís Spamalot, which transfers from Broadway in October (See News, 23 Feb 2006). Inspired by Mary Hayley Bell's novel and Bryan Forbes' classic 1961 film of the same name, Whistle Down the Wind centres on three farm children who discover a man hiding in a barn and mistake him for Jesus.
OPENING TUESDAY, 28 March 2006 (previews from 21 March), Hollywood actor Christian Slater reprises his Whatsonstage.com Award-winning performance as rebel RP McMurphy opposite ERís Alex Kingston as his Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the West Endís Garrick Theatre (See News, 17 Feb 2006). Terry Johnson and Tamara Harveyís revival of Dale Wassermanís play is based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey. The production runs for ten weeks only to 3 June 2006.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 29 March 2006 (preview 28 March), RSCís New Work season continues at Soho Theatre with The American Pilot, which runs until 8 April (See News, 13 Dec 2005). A spy plane crash lands in a remote valley in a distant country. The local villagers take in a wounded pilot. The question is: what should they do with him? David Greigís play premiered at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon last May.
OPENING THURSDAY 30 March 2006, a new version of Prokofievís Peter and the Wolf, a prequel to the classic tale, features choreography by Doug Elkins and stars soloists of the Philharmonic Orchestra. It continues at Hackney Empire for until 16 April 2006.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 28 March), Alan Rickman and Katharine Vinerís triple Whatsonstage.com Award-winning My Name Is Rachel Corrie receives its West End premiere at the Playhouse Theatre (See News, 1 Mar 2006). The one-woman play, which premiered at the Royal Court last year, stars Megan Dodds and is directed by Rickman.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 27 March) Notting Hillís Gate Theatre presents In Celebration of Harold Pinter - a double bill of Pinter one-acters A Slight Ache and A Kind of Alaska - in honour of the dramatistís Nobel Prize win last year (See News, 9 Dec 2005).
OPENING SUNDAY, 2 April 2006, Lucky Nurse and Other Short Musical Plays, a bill of four musicals by American composer Michael John LaChiusa is at the Finborough Theatre until 16 April 2006.
- by Caroline Ansdell