Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 9 January 2006 (previews from 6 January 2006) Jermyn Street Theatre presents the world premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical!, written and performed by Anthony King and Scott Brown. The pair showcased the musical about two misguided writers at the New York Musical Theatre Festival last year.


OPENING TUESDAY, 10 January 2006 (previews from 6 January), the Royal Shakespeare Company presents The Comedy of Errors at the West End’s Novello Theatre, continuing its season of Bard comedies with productions first seen in Stratford-upon-Avon last year (See News, 7 Jun 2005). Nancy Meckler directs.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 6 January), north London’s Tricycle presents Gem of the Ocean, the second in its three-play cycle of British premieres of African-American plays (See News, 29 Jul 2005). Paulette Randall directs a cast that includes Joseph Marcell, Carmen Munroe and Jenny Jules. Set in Pittsburgh in 1904, the play by August Wilson, who died last year (See News, 3 Oct 2005), was first seen on Broadway in December 2004.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 11 January 2006 (preview 10 January), Philip York stars as the late newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell in Lies Have Been Told, transferring from Hampstead’s New End Theatre to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 2, where it has a limited run to 28 January (See News, 12 Dec 2005). Rod Beacham’s play is directed by Alan Dosser and co-produced by Andy Jordan Productions and the Dale Djerassi, who was once married to Maxwell’s daughter.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, the London International Mime Festival – now in its 28th year – kicks off, running at venues that include the South Bank Centre’s Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio, ICA and BAC, until 29 January (See News, 28 Dec 2005). Europe’s leading showcase for innovative visual theatre, highlights include France’s Compagnie 111 (at the QEH) and UK aerialist Matilda Leyser (at the Linbury).


OPENING THURSDAY, 12 January 2006 (preview 11 January), Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing is revived at Wardour Street’s Sound Theatre (See News, 13 Dec 2005). Set during a long, hot summer on the Thamesmead Estate in South East London, two teenage boys gradually discover their mutual affection and love. The play premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1993 and later transferred to the Donmar Warehouse and on to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre. The cast for Toby Frow’s Sound production includes Naomi Bentley, Gavin Brocker, Andrew Garfield and Sophie Stanton (reprising her role as Sandra from the original production at the Bush Theatre).

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- by Caroline Ansdell