Double The Dream
Judi Dench has attracted so much publicity for the forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose, you’d think all other companies would be scared off the piece. Bravo to Chickenshed then, who have bravely announced a revival of their version to run concurrently with the Rose show from 12-27 March. Trust the Cockfosters crew to find a fresh take on Shakespeare’s fairy comedy. There’s nothing like a dame? Let’s wait and see, shall we.

Slaves to Fortune at 503
Theatre 503 starts the year as it means to go on with Slaves (26 January – 20 February), a new and unflinching portrait of prison life by Rex Obana. As one of the inaugural members of the 503Five, Obana was selected from hundreds of unproduced playwrights for a year-long residency. He began Slaves while working at HMP Wandsworth, drawing on the shared sense of fear between prisoners and staff. Nadia Latif of the Tabular Rasa Theatre directs.

Greenwich Sticks LaBute In
More hard love next month at Greenwich Theatre, which receives Dialogue’s acclaimed Neil LaBute double bill, now combined into a trilogy with the UK premiere of The Furies. Dialogue drew rave reviews for Land of the Dead and Helter Skelter at the Bush last year. The writer’s latest play treads more familiar ground – emotional terrorism in modern day New York City. The Greenwich run from 23-27 February comes mid-way through a tour of 12 venues nationwide.

Three’s A Lucky Number
Another trilogy beckons in the form of Durang Durang at the Jermyn Street Theatre from 15 Feburary – 6 March. Sample one of New York’s most celebrated playwrights Christopher Durang, courtesy of Mind The Gap Theatre Company and a mixed UK/US cast, marshalled by emerging director Alicia-Dhyana House. And if three Durang plays weren’t enough for you, performances will be followed by After Laugh, live comedy featuring Edinburgh award-winners at 9pm.

And Finally...
Another new play from another new playwright. Ashmeed Sohoye’s Rigged gets an outing at the Oval House after impressing at the Unicorn last autumn. Central character Nathan has anger issues, an addiction to fruit machines and an ASBO for criminal damage. Working closely with Year 11 students, Sohoye wrote the play while resident literary manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East. A full production team led by director Natalie Wilson brings his vision to life from 16-20 February.