Amongst the major London openings, in the West End and further afield, this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 17 January 2011 (previews from 12 January), John Donnelly’s new play The Knowledge, which examines what happens when a young teacher goes off the rails in a failing school, kicks off the Bush Theatre’s Schools Season, running in rep until 19 February.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 13 January), the Royal Shakespeare Company’s residency at the Roundhouse continues with artistic director Michael Boyd’s production of As You Like It - starring Mariah Gale as Celia and Katy Stephens as Rosalind - which continues in rep until 5 February.


OPENING TUESDAY, 18 January 2011 (previews from 11 January), former artistic director Peter Hall returns to the National Theatre to direct Twelfth Night, in celebration of his 80th birthday. His daughter Rebecca Hall makes her NT debut as Viola, opposite Simon Callow as Toby Belch, Amanda Drew as Olivia and Simon Paisley Day as Malvolio. It runs in the Cottesloe until 2 March 2011.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Woody Sez, a musical tribute to American folk legend Woody Guthrie, opens at the Arts Theatre for an extended run to 2 April. Created by and starring Broadway veteran David Lutken, the show weaves together Guthrie's words and songs to present a "foot-stomping and heartfelt theatrical journey through the life of America's greatest ballad maker".

ALSO ON TUESDAY, ‘forgotten’ Shakespeare play Double Falsehood - controversially included in Arden’s Complete Works last year - receives its first professional production since 1792 at the Union Theatre. Directed by Phil Willmott, it continues at the Southwark venue until 12 February 2011.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 19 January 2010 (previews from 13 January), Nina Raine (Tribes) directs her new play Tiger Country, an exploration of life in a highly pressured London hospital, at Hampstead Theatre, where it continues until 5 February.


OPENING THURSDAY, 20 January 2011 (previews from 13 January), Peter DuBois directs the British premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw at the Almeida Theatre. The cast includes David Wilson Barnes, who starred in the play’s off-Broadway premiere in 2009, and Haydn Gwynne, who was last on stage in the West End in Billy Elliot. Becky Shaw continues until 5 March.


OPENING FRIDAY, 21 January 2011 (previews from 18 January), ‘unseen’ 1944 Terence Rattigan play Less Than Kind (which was extensively rewritten as Love in Idleness) premieres at Jermyn Street Theatre. Running for a four week season to 12 February, the production kicks off this year's celebrations of Rattigan’s centenary.