Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 20 January 2009 (previews from 15 January), the Royal Shakespeare Company\'s season at the Novello Theatre continues with Gregory Doran’s acclaimed Stratford-upon-Avon production of A Midsummer Night\'s Dream.

Doran\'s version premiered as part of the RSC\'s 2005 Comedies season and has been revived with a new cast (the only returning member is Joe Dixon, who plays Bottom). The ensemble features David Tennant\'s recent Hamlet understudy Edward Bennett as Demetrius as well as  Tom Davey, Peter de Jersey, Kathryn Drysdale and Natalie Walter (See News, 7 May 2008). Until 7 February.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 21 January 2009 (previews from 2 January), Thriller Live, a concert show celebrating the career of Michael Jackson, opens at the Lyric Theatre. The show includes Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 chart-toppers such as “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “Earth Song”, “Blame It on the Boogie”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and, of course, the title song, “Thriller”. It received a one-off West End try-out at the Dominion Theatre in 2006 and has subsequently had three UK-wide tours (See News, 4 Dec 2008). For a limited season to 12 April.


OPENING FRIDAY, 23 January 2009, Romeo and Juliet – Fatal Loins, a new musical adaptation combining Shakespeare\'s original with elements of contemporary hip hop, gospel, jazz, street and break dance, opens at the recently renovated New Players\' theatre. The cast includes former S Club 7 member Jon Lee, recently seen in Les Miserables in the West End. Until 7 February.

- by Theo Bosanquet