Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 13 February 2006 (previews from 7 February), acclaimed German director Peter Stein brings his Edinburgh International Festival hit production of David Harrower’s play Blackbird to the West End’s Albery Theatre, for a limited season to 13 May (See News, 2 Dec 2005). Roger Allam and Jodhi May star as a couple who reunite 15 years after they had an intense, illegal relationship.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 8 February), the Gate in Notting Hill presents a new production of August Strindberg’s final, rarely seen play The Great Highway (See News, 9 Dec 2005). The piece explores a journey through the landscapes of the memory of one man, and is translated by Gregory Motton.


OPENING TUESDAY, 14 February 2006 (previews from 7 February), as an antidote to Valentine’s Day, Diana Rigg (pictured) and Martin Jarvis star in a new production of Joanna Murray-Smith’s Honour as a couple whose long marriage suddenly combusts, at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre (See News, 20 Dec 2005). The cast also features Natascha McElhone, best known for her film roles in Solaris, The Truman Show and Ronin. The play had its London premiere three years ago in a National Theatre production starring Eileen Atkins, Corin Redgrave and Catherine McCormack. David Grindley directs the West End premiere.

** DON’T MISS the chance to see Honour with best seats for just £25! – offer ends 25 February 2006 - click here for more details! **


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 15 February 2006 (previews from 10 February), Simon McBurney’s Complicite production of Measure for Measure, originally seen at the National in 2004 in the NT Olivier as part of the Travelex £10 season, now returns to the NT Lyttelton for a run to 18 March, with McBurney himself now joining the cast (See News, 10 Nov 2005).

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 2 February), the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Gunpowder Season at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios concludes with the transfer from Stratford-upon-Avon of Frank McGuinness’ new play Speaking Like Magpies, specially commissioned by the RSC to mark the 400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament (See News, 26 Aug 2005).


OPENING THURSDAY, 16 February 2006 (previews from 10 February), the National Theatre’s artistic director Nicholas Hytner directs the world premiere of Southwark Fair in the NT Cottesloe (See News, 16 Jan 2006). Samuel Adamson’s evocative metropolitan comedy stars Margaret Tyzack, alongside Rory Kinnear, Simon Gleeson, Rhashan Stone and Con O'Neill.

- by Caroline Ansdell