Opening: Lintel, Menagerie, Keeler, Kitt & BoeingDate: 12 February 2007
Amongst the major openings in London this week are:
OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 12 February 2007 (previews from 7 February), Richard Schiff, best-known for his multi award-winning performance as Toby Ziegler in TV’s The West Wing, stars in the British premiere of Underneath the Lintel at the Duchess Theatre (See News, 21 Nov 2006). As a librarian tries to unpick the mystery of a library book returned after 113 years, Glen Berger’s powerful award-winning one-man play turns into a moving journey of self discovery. Directed by Maria Mileaf, this production won critical acclaim when it opened at Off-Broadway’s George Street Playhouse in early 2006. It arrives in the West End for a limited ten-week season, booking until 14 April.
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OPENING TUESDAY, 13 February 2007 (previewing from 31 January), two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Lange returns to the West End stage for a strictly limited season to star in a new production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at the Apollo Theatre. Directed by Rupert Goold, Williams’ 1930s memory play tells the story of the Wingfield family, focusing on the son, Tom, who’s torn between the need to break away and his emotional ties with an ageing mother and a frail sister. Lange’s previous West End credits include A Streetcar Named Desire and Long Day's Journey into Night, which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 8 January), the legendary Eartha Kitt (now aged 79), performs in London for the first time in 15 years for five performances only at the Shaw Theatre.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, Teatr Provisorium’s stage adaptation of Ferdydurke, Witold Gombrowicz’s 1937 satirical novel, plays at the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre until 17 February 2007.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 14 February 2007 (previews from 9 February), at west London’s Lyric Hammersmith, artistic director David Farr adapts and directs a new version of Ramayana, the Indian classic tale of love, honour and revenge, in a production set to a haunting soundtrack by leading light of the UK Asian music scene, Shri. It’s at the Lyric until 10 March before a brief regional tour.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, character comedian Lizzie Roper brings sex comedy Peccadillo Circus to Trafalgar Studio 2. In the one-woman documentary, Roper reveals the fetishes and secrets of real people in their own words. It runs until 3 March 2007.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Paul Nicholas and Alexander Holt open Keeler by Gill Adams, at north London fringe theatre Upstairs at the Gatehouse. Based on Christine Keeler’s 2001 autobiography The Truth at Last, this new play - with Alice Coulthard as the infamous call girl - promises to reveal the inside story of the sensational Profumo affair of the 1960s and opens just after A Model Girl, a new musical based on the same scandal premiered at Greenwich Theatre. Keeler continues until 18 March 2007.
OPENING THURSDAY, 15 February 2007 (previews from 3 February), Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour and Mark Rylance star in Marc Camoletti’s classic Sixties comedy of errors Boeing-Boeing at the West End’s Comedy Theatre (See News, 21 Dec 2006). A Paris-based architect’s attempts to juggle airline schedules to match his three air hostess fiancees’ work timetables ends in farcical mayhem. Boeing-Boeing, which originally opened in London in the mid-sixties, held the world record for the longest running comedy in the West End, playing over 2,000 performances before transferring to Broadway. Matthew Warchus directs this slightly revised version which also features Daisy Beaumont, Tamzin Outhwaite and Michelle Gomez.
OPENING FRIDAY, 16 February 2007 (previews from 14 February), for his final play as artistic director of west London’s Bush Theatre, Mike Bradwell directs I Like Mine with a Kiss (See News, 17 Nov 2006). The new comedy by Georgia Fitch - who made her debut at the Bush in 2002 with her first play adrenalin… heart - centres on best friends Louise and Annie. Now in their late 30s, they’re still nowhere near to being like enviable modern women who seem to have everything. I Like Mine with a Kiss’s limited season continues until 17 March.
- by Roger Foss