Büchner Back at Lion and Unicorn
Following an excellent close to 2009 with five star reviews for both Bedbound and Christie in Love, the Lion and the Unicorn begins 2010 with a new production of Woyzeck from 8-14 February. Resident company Giant Olive teams up with Theatre Mixte for George Büchner’s searing tale of war, which was banned for more than 50 years after its first production in 1836. Alan Marni directs an eight-strong cast with Tommy O’Neill as the proletariat hero

Double Deborah at White Bear
A double bill of Deborah Levy plays opens at Kennington’s White Bear Theatre next month courtesy of Papa C Productions. Clam and Honey/Baby (16 February – 7 March) are typically dark tales, showing the playwright at her strange and surreal best after work with the RSC, BBC and Royal Court. Director Nadia Papachronopoulou returns to the White Bear fresh from the success of her recent production of The Housewives of the 1950s at the same venue.

Neither One Nor The Other
And just down the road, the Oval House has revealed its major March production will be Sarah Leaver’s one woman show, Memoirs of a Hermaphrodite. The show is based on the real-life story of Herculine Barbin, raised in a 19th century French nunnery as a woman but forced to move to Paris when she falls in love with a girl and her true hermaphrodite identity is discovered. Leaver combines physical theatre with a new musical score from Jason Pegg. Running from 10-27 March.

Shenton’s View of Kilburn
Mark Shenton was this week announced new associate producer at the Cock Tavern Theatre. Best known for his column in The Stage newspaper, Shenton will be joining the venue to work on the world premiere of Shrunk (18 May – 12 June), the second play from the pen of Charlotte Eilenberg, who won an Oliver and Critic’s Circle Award for The Lucky Ones at Hampstead Theatre in 2002. A revival of Jon Fosse’s Nightsongs opens at the Cock tomorrow evening (30 January).

And Finally
Less than a fortnight now until Hackney Empire goes dark. Sob. But chiming a note of optimism for the future, the venue’s final show on 7 February is the annual Variety Performance of Hackney’s own Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School. This year’s 150 young performers, aged from five to 18, have worked with Spring Awakening director Lucy Skilbeck, vocal coach Jay Henry and Peter Andre’s choreographer Mark Short. Guest speaker on the night will be Coronation Street’s Shobna Gulati.