Opening: Fiddler, Alaska, Kean, Voices, PhilistinesDate: 29 May 2007
Amongst the major openings in London this week are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 29 May 2007 (previews from 19 May), Jewish tradition and the desire to marry for love clash in Lindsay Posner’s acclaimed revival of Fiddler on the Roof, which transfers to the West End’s Savoy Theatre following its sell-out season earlier this year at Sheffield Crucible (See News, 23 Mar 2007). The musical, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem with a book by Joseph Stein and score by Jerry Block and Sheldon Harnick, originally opened on Broadway in 1964 and includes now-classic songs such as "Tradition", "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "If I Were a Rich Man". Henry Goodman plays Tevye in a cast that also features Beverley Klein.
ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 24 May), Maria Aberg directs the premiere of Alaska, the debut play from young writer DC Moore, at the Royal Court Upstairs (See News, 4 May 2007). Frank is charismatic but ordinary, enjoying smoking, history, gory video games and his job in a cinema kiosk. That is until a new, younger supervisor turns up who is Asian. The limited season continues until 23 June.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, (previews from 24 May) Cheek by Jowl continues its annual residency at the Barbican Theatre with its staging of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, about an evil stepmother, invading army, headless corpse and the supernatural (See News, 13 Jul 2005). The production, directed by Declan Donnellan, runs until 23 June.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 30 May 2007 (previews from 24 May), Antony Sher plays legendary 19th-century thespian Edmund Kean in Adrian Noble’s revival of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Kean at the West End’s Apollo Theatre, where it runs for a limited summer season following a regional tour (See News, 16 Feb 2007). Kean is a pretender of the highest order, Sartre’s “actor who never ceased acting”, with an ego as big as the stage and a private life that is a tragic-comic public performance.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 23 May), Russian radicals and restless youth take over the National’s Lyttelton stage during Maxim Gorky’s pre-revolutionary classic Philistines. Howard Davies directs a cast including Phil Davis, Rory Kinnear, Conleth Hill and Ruth Wilson in this new version by Andrew Upton which continues in rep until 18 August (See News, 20 Mar 2007).
OPENING THURSDAY, 31 May 2007 (previews from 23 May), All Mouth receives its world premiere at Southwark’s Menier Chocolate Factory, where it runs until 7 July (See News, 3 May 2007). The first new play in 12 years by husband-and-wife writing team Jonathan Lewis and Miranda Foster - whose last play, Our Boys, was an award-winning hit at the Donmar Warehouse in 1995 – it eavesdrops on the unseen world of advertising voiceovers. Lewis directs a cast that includes Christopher Benjamin and Caroline Harker.
OPENING FRIDAY, 1 June 2007 (previews from 30 May), Forgotten Voices sees Olivier Award winner Matthew Kelly return to the London stage in Malcolm McKay’s adaptation of Max Arthur’s book Forgotten Voices of the Great War. The play features a collection of narratives sourced from 1960s sound archives at the Imperial War Museum and runs at London’s Riverside Studios until 7 July before heading to Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms for this year’s Fringe Festival (See News, 25 Apr 2007).
- by Malcolm Rock