Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 19 February 2007, Birmingham Stage Company’s production of Proof opens at the Arts Theatre for a run to 17 March 2007. David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize winning play is the story of Robert, a maths genius who in the last ten years of his life suffered a mental collapse. When one of his ex-students, Hal, starts searching through his papers, he discovers a proof of a ground-breaking theory. But the discovery has a profound effect on Robert’s daughter, Catherine. John Harrison’s production stars Sally Oliver, Neal Foster, Aislinn Sands and Terence Booth.


OPENING TUESDAY, 20 February 2007 (previews from 15 February), David Eldridge’s new adaptation of Ibsen’s 1897 drama John Gabriel Borkman opens at the Donmar Warehouse, starring Deborah Findlay, Ian McDiarmid and Penelope Wilton, for a run to 14 April 2007 (See News, 14 Jul 2006). The play is directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage. John Gabriel Borkman has been in voluntary seclusion in an upstairs room since serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. His estranged wife Gunhild, her twin sister Ella, his son Erhart, the divorcee Mrs Wilton and Borkman himself, are all trapped in a suffocating atmosphere of their household. There are only two ways out.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 21 February 2007 (previews from 14 February), Ben Chaplin stars in the world premiere of Nicholas Wright’s The Reporter, at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre (See News, 2 Nov 2006). Based on the life of BBC correspondent James Mossman during his last years (1963-1971), the play searches for the truth behind his suicide. It’s directed by former NT artistic director Richard Eyre, who also directed Wright’s multi award-winning Vincent in Brixton at the National, in the West End and on Broadway. Chaplin is joined in the cast by Paul Ritter and Angela Thorne.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre opens its latest piece, The Bull, at the Barbican for a run to 3 March 2007. The production is based on the great Irish epic An Táin Bó Cuailnge (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley), which recounts a long, bloody war fought over a celebrated bull.


OPENING THURSDAY, 22 February 2007 (previews from 15 February), Restoration comedy The Soldiers' Fortune, opens at the Young Vic, starring Anne-Marie Duff, Oliver Ford Davies and David Bamber (See News, 10 Jan 2007). David Lan’s production of Thomas Otway’s comedy runs to 31 March 2007. Set in 1680, the play revolves around Beaugard and Courtine who, returning empty-handed to London from wars abroad, hit upon a scheme to improve their fortunes.


OPENING FRIDAY, 23 February 2007 (previews from 31 January) the European premiere of Andrew Bovell’s Ship of Fools opens at Battersea’s Theatre503 for a run to 10 March 2007, directed by Toby Frow (Beautiful Thing). The play, designed by Lucy Osborne, is an exploration of how society deals with its outcasts, spanning from 1492 to 2007. Andrew Buchan, Lucy Briers, Jonathan Oliver, Maggie O'Brien, Richard Attlee and Sarah Corbett star.

- by Caroline Ansdell