Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 26 February 2007, (previews from 23 February), Alexandra Wood’s new play The Eleventh Capital opens at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs for a limited run to 10 March as part of the Young Writers’ Festival (See News, 6 Feb 2007). Natalie Abrahami, recently appointed joint artistic director of the Gate Theatre (See News, 6 Feb 2007), directs the play about dislocation, manipulation and power.


OPENING TUESDAY, 27 February 2007 (previews from 16 February), Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe (pictured) and Richard Griffiths feature in Peter Shaffer’s Equus at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre (See News, 1 Nov 2006). The controversial drama, which tells the story of a troubled 17-year-old stable boy who blinds his horses, is directed by Thea Sharrock, outgoing artistic director of the Gate, and marks Radcliffe’s West End debut. It’s booking until 9 June 2007. Equus was originally produced by the National Theatre at the Old Vic in 1973, directed by John Dexter, and starring Alec McCowen as psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Griffiths in Sharrock’s revival) and Peter Firth as Alan Strang (Radcliffe), the patient.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 22 February), Debbie Tucker Green’s new play generations opens at the Young Vic’s Maria studio for a run to 10 March (See News, 5 Jul 2006). To the accompaniment of a gospel choir, the play explodes the secrets of a South African family. Sacha Wares directs the short piece, clocking in at just 30 minutes, with two performances nightly. The cast includes Britons Davinia Anderson, Claire Prempeh and Heshima Thompson, as well as leading South African actors Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, Nornhle Nkonyeni and Louis Mahoney.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, the Arcola Theatre presents the London premiere of Torben Betts’ The Unconquered, about a young girl during a revolution, for a run to 3 March 2007. It is presented by Stellar Quines Theatre Company and directed by Muriel Romanes.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 28 February 2007 (previews from 22 February), Patrick Stewart plays Prospero in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s transfer of The Tempest at the Novello Theatre for a run to 24 March 2007 as part of the company’s West End winter residency (See News, 25 Aug 2006). The cast also features Critics Circle best newcomer and Ian Charleson winner Mariah Gale as Miranda as well as Finbar Lynch (Alonso) and John Light (Caliban). Headlong artistic director Rupert Goold directs.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, the National Theatre of Iceland brings its newly adapted version of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt to the Barbican Pit, for a season to 10 March 2007.


OPENING THURSDAY, 1 March 2007 (previews from 22 February), Steve Thompson’s political satire Whipping It Up transfers to the West End’s New Ambassadors Theatre following a run at west London’s Bush Theatre (See News, 11 Jan 2007). Westminster runs the country, but the Whips run Westminster. It's a week before Christmas, and a new Tory government is facing dissent over its latest bill. With a majority of only three, the Whip's office is out in full force, and they'll stop at nothing to keep the strays in line. But they’re in for a long night: boy scouts are rioting in Whitehall, the PM’s golfing with the President, five Tory rebels are on the loose and the Chief Whip's playing at Santa. Tamara Harvey directs Richard Wilson, Robert Bathurst and Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award winner Helen Schlesinger.

** DON’T MISS the chance to see Whipping it Up with £10 off top-price seats – offer valid until 1 March 2007 only - click here for more details! **

- by Caroline Ansdell