The Creeper - which returned Ian Richardson to the West End after an eight-year absence - has posted early closing notices at the Playhouse Theatre. Following a brief regional tour last year, the thriller opened in London on 9 February 2006 (previews from 7 February) and was booking to 22 April 2006. It will now close on 18 March 2006, five weeks early than planned.

In Bill Bryden’s revival of Pauline Macauley’s 1964 psychological drama, Richardson plays Edward Kimberley, an eccentric member of the landed gentry whose home is upset by the arrival of a young opportunist. Dark secrets emerge as the younger man, skilfully concealing his shady past, begins to exert his power and challenge the status quo.

A classical stage veteran whose many credits for the Royal Shakespeare Company include The Hollow Crown, Richardson was last seen in the West End in a 1997 production of The Magistrate at the Savoy. He’s joined in The Creeper cast by Oliver Dimsdale, Alan Cox, Robert Styles and Harry Towb.

Bryden’s revival was first seen at the Theatre Royal Windsor in August 2005. The production is designed by Hayden Griffin, with lighting by Mick Hughes. It’s produced in the West End by Matthew Gale, Jenny King and Steve Wilkinson.

The Creeper is followed into the Playhouse by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award-winning My Name Is Rachel Corrie (See News, 28 Feb 2006). Following the last-minute cancellation of its New York premiere, the one-woman play, starring Megan Dodds, will transfer instead to the Playhouse Theatre, where it’s due to open on 30 March 2006 (previews from 28 March) and is initially booking for six weeks only.

- by Caroline Ansdell