Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 5 February 2007 (previews from 1 February), Nicolas Kent directs the world premiere of Tamsin Oglesby’s black comedy The War Next Door, using domestic violence as a metaphor for the war in Iraq, at the Tricycle Theatre for a run to 3 March 2007 (See News, 10 Jan 2007).

ALSO TONIGHT, (previews from 1 February), John Kani’s new play Nothing But the Truth premieres at Hampstead Theatre - prior to a UK tour – for a run to 24 February 2007, (See News, 23 Nov 2006). The play, in which the death of an estranged brother forces aging librarian Sipho Makaya to confront the betrayals, jealousies and animosities of the past, is presented by UK Arts International in association with Hampstead Theatre. Janice Honeyman directs.

ALSO TONIGHT, Ripper the Musical opens at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. Written by Gerry Ware, the gruesome musical comedy tells the tale of the killer stalking the streets of Victorian London, and runs in this concert version to 10 February 2007.


OPENING TUESDAY, 6 February 2007 (previews from 29 January), National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner directs George Etheredge’s 1676 Restoration comedy The Man of Mode, which joins the NT Olivier rep for an open-ended run (See News, 2 Nov 2006). Dorimant (Tom Hardy), who can generally charm any woman in town back to his apartment, can’t persuade Belinda (Hayley Atwell) into his bed until he’s promised to dump Loveit (Nancy Carroll), his current mistress. The play is set in a London obsessed with having it all, and takes a steely look at young people driven by the need to have the latest clothes, the latest gossip and each other’s bodies.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, (previews from 2 February), Gone Too Far, Bola Agbaje’s new satirical comedy, premieres at the Royal Court Upstairs for a run to 17 February 2007, as part of the venue’s young writers’ festival 2007. When two brothers from different continents go down the street to buy a pint of milk, they lift the lid on a disunited nation where everyone wants to be an individual but no one wants to stand out from the crowd.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Jermyn Street Theatre presents The American Songbook in London, featuring the work of Frank Loesser, Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, for a run to 4 March 2007.


OPENING THURSDAY, 8 February 2007 (previews from 2 February), Lee Evans and Jason Isaacs star in Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter at Trafalgar Studios for a limited run to 24 March 2007 (See News, 2 Jan 2007). The 1960 play, one of Pinter’s earliest, is set in an airless basement in Birmingham, where two hit men await instructions for their next killing. The men – one strong and silent and the other incessantly talkative - realise they’re not alone when the dumb waiter (the mini-elevator used to transport meals and dirty dishes between floors) starts moving. Harry Burton directs.

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ALSO ON THURSDAY, (preview 7 February), Tim Crouch’s Edinburgh Fringe success An Oak Tree opens at Soho Theatre for a run to 4 March 2006, as part of a tour. The two-hander features the playwright as a hypnotist who has killed a girl in a car accident. A different actor in each performance plays the father of the girl.


OPENING SUNDAY, 11 February 2007 (previews from 9 February), Unicorn Theatre presents Beatrix Potter's Jemima Puddle Duck and Her Friends for a run to 22 April.

- by Caroline Ansdell