Plays Extend: Donkeys, Woman in Black, Blue ManDate: 31 May 2006
Three West End plays Ė long-running thriller The Woman in Black, experiential Off-Broadway hit Blue Man Group and recently opened 30th anniversary revival of Michael Frayn comedy Donkeys' Years - have announced extensions to their booking periods.
At the Fortune Theatre, The Woman in Black has opened a new 12-month booking period, taking it up to 1 September 2007. Susan Hillís 1970s novel, a ghost story told through the eyes of a keen young solicitor sent to a secluded house to wind up the affairs of a recently deceased woman, was adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt.
Originally produced at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in December 1987, The Woman in Black has been seen by over two million theatregoers since opening in London in 1989. Directed ever since its opening by Robin Herford, the spooky two-hander currently features Damien Matthews and Paul Shelley.
At the New London Theatre, Blue Man Group has added seven months to its schedule, taking it up to 1 April 2007. The show had its UK premiere at the New London on 14 November 2005 (previews from 10 November). In it, a silent, blue-skinned, bald-headed trio take audiences through a multi-sensory experience combining theatre, percussive music, art, science and vaudeville.
Blue Man Group has developed a sizeable following since its Off-Broadway debut in 1991. In addition to the long-running New York production, there are now shows in Las Vegas, Chicago and Boston. The group has also released two albums, Audio and The Complex, and created installations, "happenings", "unusual ads" and a number of TV-specific performances, including ITVís London weather bulletins (See The Goss, 16 Mar 2006). The group was founded by long-time friends Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink.
Finally, at the Comedy Theatre, Jeremy Samsí highly acclaimed revival of Michael Fraynís Olivier Award-winning comedy Donkeys' Years has extended its booking period by five weeks. The production opened on 9 May 2006 (previews from 27 April) and had been booking until 29 July (See News, 22 Mar 2006). It will now continue until 2 September 2006.
Twenty-five years after graduation, six former students return to their university college for a reunion dinner. Locked in college for the night, the graduates begin to relive their youth, with all its chaotic friendships and feuds. The ensemble cast are David Haig, Mark Addy, Samantha Bond, James Dreyfus, Edward Petherbridge, Michael Fitzgerald, Michael Simkins, Jonathan Coy and Chris Moran.
- by Terri Paddock