Next month is a busy one for up-and-coming playwright Laura Wade who has two plays - Colder Than Here and Breathing Corpses - receiving high-profile world premieres at London’s Soho and Royal Court Theatres, respectively.

First up, Colder Than Here opens at Soho, running from 7 to 26 February 2005 (previews from 3 February). Terminally ill Myra is taking a hands-on approach to organising her funeral, researching burial methods and biodegradable coffins and planning the lives of her family, who are now facing an unpredictable future.

The cast for Colder Than Here are Margot Leicester (The Lucky Ones, God Only Knows, The Memory of Water), Michael Pennington (most recently seen on stage in Venus and Adonis, When the Night Begins, The Madness of George III and John Gabriel Borkman), Georgia Mackenzie (The God Botherers, TV’s Hot Money, 20 Things to Do Before You’re 30) and Anna Madeley (The Roman Actor, The Malcontent).

Colder Than Here is directed by Soho artistic director Abigail Morris, her first production since returning from maternity leave, and designed by Naomi Wilkinson with lighting by Nigel Edwards and sound by John Leonard.

At the end of the month, Wade’s Breathing Corpses premieres at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, where it runs from 28 February to 26 March 2005 (previews from 24 February). Amy's found another body in a hotel bedroom. There's a funny smell coming from one of Jim's storage units. And Kate's losing it after spending all day with the police.

The starry cast features James McAvoy (Privates on Parade; TV’s Shameless; Inside I’m Dancing, Wimbledon on film) and Tamzin Outhwaite (Flesh Wound at the Court, TV’s Redcap, EastEnders), as well as Niamh Cusack (His Dark Materials, TV’s Heartbeat), Paul Copley, Laura Elphinstone, Rupert Evans and Ryan Pope.

Breathing Corpses is directed by Anna Mackmin and designed by Paul Wills, with lighting by Mark Jonathan. Wade’s previous plays include an adaptation of Young Emma at the Finborough Theatre. She is one of six Writers on Attachment at Soho.

- by Terri Paddock