Opening: Othello, Beast, Cinderella & WOS AwardsDate: 3 December 2007
Amongst the major openings this week in London are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 4 December 2007 (previews from 29 November), Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured) takes the title role in Michael Grandage’s already sold-out production of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse, alongside fellow Donmar alumni Ewan McGregor and Kelly Reilly as Iago and Desdemona (See News, 11 May 2007). Also in the cast are Edward Bennett, Michelle Fairley, Michael Jenn and James Laurenson. The limited season continues until 23 February 2008.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 5 December 2007 (previews from 30 November), The Family Plays, a double bill of new international plays by Joakim Pirinen (The Good Family) and Natalia Vorozhbit (The Khomenko Family Chronicle), premiere in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs for run to 20 December.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, The Snowman returns to the Peacock Theatre for the tenth year running for a festive engagement through to 6 January 2008. Based on Raymond Briggs' original 1978 illustrated picture book, The Snowman, also famously made into an animated cartoon, tells the story of a little boy who builds a snowman in his garden.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, the Drill Hall presents Bitch Slapped by God, an antidote to pantomime written and performed by Everett Quinton, running until 6 January 2008.
OPENING THURSDAY, 6 December 2007 (previews from 1 December), the Barbican presents its second annual Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which is written by Beautiful Thing playwright Jonathan Harvey with new music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (See News, 26 Apr 2007). Giles Havergal’s production continues until 12 January 2008.
OPENING FRIDAY, 7 December 2007 (previews from 29 November), Told by an Idiot follows its female version of Casanova at west London’s Lyric Hammersmith with its Christmas offering of Beauty and the Beast, starring Lisa Hammond and directed by Paul Hunter (See News, 22 Jun 2007). Its limited season continues until 5 January 2008.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 4 December), Sylvia Freedman’s Rough Music premieres at north London’s King’s Head theatre, where it runs until 13 January 2008.
ALSO ON FRIDAY, in a star-studded lunchtime ceremony held at the Café de Paris in the West End, the nominations are announced – and voting for the final winners launches – in the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided by the audience (See News, 23 Nov 2007).
OPENING SATURDAY, 8 December 2007 (previews from 5 December), the Chichester Festival production of Nicholas Nickleby, two-part adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, arrives at the West End’s for 66 performances only until 27 January 2008 (See News, 20 Aug 2007). The epic, directed by Chichester artistic director Jonathan Church and Philip Franks, features a cast of more than 20 actors who tell the tale of Nicholas as he embarks on a thrilling comic journey through 1830s England. Daniel Weyman plays Nicholas in a cast that also features father and daughter David Yelland and Hannah Yelland, David Dawson and Jonathan Coy.
OPENING SUNDAY, 9 December 2007 (previews from 4 December), Stephen Fry makes his pantomime writing debut with a new version of Cinderella at the Old Vic, starring Pauline Collins as the Fairy Godmother and Sandi Toksvig as the Narrator (See News, 22 Oct 2007). Madeleine Worrall is Cinderella and Joseph Millson Prince Charming, while the cast in Fiona Laird’s production, running until 20 January 2008, also features Paul Keating, Debbie Chazen, Hal Fowler and Mark Lockyer.
- by Terri Paddock