Two darkly comic plays opened in north London last week: Moira Buffini’s adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s satirical comedy The Suicide - renamed Dying for It - opened at Islington’s Almeida Theatre on Thursday (15 March 2007, following previews from 8 March, See News, 31 Jan 2007), while Sheffield Theatre’s revival of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker opened at Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre the following night on Friday 16 March 2007 (previews from 13 March, See News, 15 Dec 2006).

Inspired by Erdman’s comedy, which was banned by Stalin before a single performance, Dying for It centres on Semyon, unemployed, living in the hallway and watching his wife Masha slave all the hours God sends. When his last hope to earn a crust and gain some self-respect disappears, he decides to take his own life. Word gets out of his intention and he finds himself inundated with visitors begging him to die on their behalf. Anna Mackmin directs, having taken over from Kathy Burke, who had to withdraw due to ill health (See News, 31 Jan 2007).

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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer was on hand at the Almeida Theatre, Islignton, for the post-show party in the theatre bar where – along with cast and creatives - other first night guests included actors Neve Campbell and Aidan McArdle, and director Sam Buntrock (Sunday in the Park with George).


Premiered in 1960, The Caretaker is set in the late 1950s in a seedy west London flat where two grown brothers – brain-damaged Aston (Con O'Neill) and menacing Mick (Nigel Harman) - have their lives disrupted by a bad-tempered tramp named Davies (David Bradley). Jamie Lloyd’s production runs at the Tricycle until 14 April 2007, as the final stop of a tour.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer caught up with cast members and their guests at the post-show party in the theatre. Guests included film director Christopher Morahan and his actress wife Anna Carteret, screen writer Guy Hibbert, producer Nick Frankfort, and actors Thomas Wheatley, Maggie Steed, Rosalind March, Jan Chappell and Jenny Jules.

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