Amongst the major London openings taking place this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 8 March 2004 (preview 5 March) as part of the International Playwrights Season at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs is Ladybird. Russian author Vassily Sigarev’s third play for the Royal Court follows Black Milk and Plasticine, for which he won the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright award. The new piece centres on 19-year-old Dima, who’s off to Chechnya with the army, and his 20-year-old neighbour Lera, who thinks she’s in the money. Translated by Sasha Dugdale and directed by Ramin Gray, it continues until 27 March.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 10 March 2004 (previews from 25 February), Matthew Warchus revives Samuel Beckett’s 1957 existentialist play Endgame, starring Michael Gambon and Lee Evans, at the West End’s Albery Theatre (See News, 15 Dec 2003). Set in a bare, partially underground room, Beckett's 1957 existentialist play finds a wheelchair-bound Hamm (Gambon) passing the time by ordering his servant Clov (Evans) to move him around, fetch objects and peer out the window for signs of life, while his bin-dwelling parents Nagg and Nell look on. The limited season continue until 1 May.

LAST CHANCE to save £10 on top-price tickets to Endgame - until 9 March only - click here for info!

OPENING THURSDAY, 11 March 2004 (previews from 3 March), When the Night Begins, the latest stage play by Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia, Intimacy), receives its world premiere at north London’s Hampstead Theatre, where it continues its limited season to 17 April (See News, 29 Jan 2004).

A psychological thriller which blurs the lines between victim and aggressor, Catherine McCormack and Michael Pennington star as the recently widowed Jane and the man from her childhood who she seeks out in a south London high-rise. Hampstead artistic director Anthony Clark directs.

LAST CHANCE to see Endgame for only £10 – offer ends 10 March - click here for info!

- by Terri Paddock