Opening: Donmar Moonlight, Blue Eyes, NT RoadDate: 11 April 2011
Amongst the major London openings, in the West End and further afield, this week are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 12 April 2011 (previews from 7 April), the Donmar Warehouse revives Harold Pinter’s 1993 play Moonlight, about a woman trying to reconcile her dying husband with his estranged sons. Directed by Bijan Sheibani (making his Donmar debut), the stellar cast is headed by David Bradley, Deborah Findlay and Daniel Mays. Until 28 May 2011.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, veteran actor, writer and director Steven Berkoff brings his double bill of one-man plays, One Man, to the Riverside Studios for a run to 23 April. Comprising two of his solo pieces, Dog and Tell Tale Heart, the show is billed as exploring the murky themes of "murder, masculinity and insanity".
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 13 April 2011 (previews from 19 March), Betty Blue Eyes, the musical adaptation of the Alan Bennett-scripted comedy film A Private Function, opens at the Novello Theatre. Starring Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith, it’s producer Cameron Mackintosh's first new musical in over a decade and has music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe with a book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman.
Directed by Richard Eyre the musical is set in a Yorkshire village after the Second World War, where rationing presents a challenge for the locals who want to celebrate a Royal wedding in style by slaughtering an illegally raised pig for the event.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 12 April), Mike Leigh’s acclaimed revival of his Seventies classic Ecstasy transfers to the West End’s Duchess Theatre following its sell-out stint at Hampstead Theatre. It has a strictly limited season to 28 May 2011.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 7 April), Carrie Cracknell directs Sophocles' tragic masterpiece Electra, in a new version by award-winning playwright Nick Payne, at the Gate Theatre, where it continues to 14 May 2011.
OPENING THURSDAY, 14 April 2011 (previews from 5 April), Alecky Blythe’s latest verbatim theatre project, London Road, premieres at the NT Cottesloe. Centring on the shocking murder of five women in Ipswich in 2006, it reveals how “even the darkest experiences can engender a greater sense of our mutual dependence”, and continues in rep until 18 June.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 9 April), following their collaboration on Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis in 2004 and 2007, Little Angel puppet theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company co-present The Tempest for audiences aged seven and up. This shortened version has been edited by Peter Glanville (who also directs) and Phil Porter, and runs until 15 May.
OPENING FRIDAY, 15 April 2011 (previews from 13 April), Stephen Schwartz's pop musical Godspell, based on St Matthew's gospel, is revived at the Union theatre to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary. The production reunites Michael Strassen (director) and Michael Bradley (musical director), the team behind the venue's recently acclaimed revival of Sondheim's Assassins.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 12 April), the recently relocated Arcola Theatre presents a double-bill of David Mamet's rarely seen plays Lakeboat and Prairie du Chien, directed by Abbey Wright and continuing until 7 May 2011.