Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 27 March 2007 (previews from 3 March), Northern Stage’s production of Blame comes to the fringe Arcola Theatre for a run to 21 April 2007. Deborah Bruce directs Beatrix Campbell and Judith Jones’ play about a little girl who goes missing from a Hackney estate.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 28 March 2007 (previews from 19 March), Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice and Olivier Award-winner Daniel Evans (Sunday in the Park with George) stars alongside Jamie Doyle in Christopher Hampton’s early play Total Eclipse at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The play, which received its world premiere at the Royal Court in 1968, charts the relationship between 19th-century French poets Arthur Rimbaud (Doyle) and Paul Verlaine (Evans), who embarked on a torrid, emotional, absinthe-soaked affair which ended suddenly and dramatically in a Brussels hotel room. It was made into a film in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis. The playwright himself also appears in the film, as the judge. Total Eclipse is directed by Paul Miller at the Chocolate Factory, where it runs to 27 May 2007.


OPENING THURSDAY, 29 March 2007 (previews from 19 March), Zoe Wanamaker stars in Tennessee Williams’ 1951 play The Rose Tattoo at the NT Olivier, directed NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner who stepped in during rehearsals after the death of original director Steven Pimlott last month (See News, 15 Feb 2007). Wanamaker – last seen at the National in the 2003 stage version of His Girl Friday as part of the inaugural Travelex season - plays Serafina Delle Rose, an Italian-American widow in Louisiana who withdraws from the world after her husband's death and expects her daughter to do the same. The revival, the first production in this year’s Travelex Season in the NT Olivier, also stars Darrell D'Silva, Sheila Ballantine, Susannah Fielding, Stephanie Jacob, Rosalind Knight, Andrew Langtree, Maggie McCarthy and Jules Melvin. It runs in rep to 23 June 2007.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, the Young Vic launches The Big Brecht Fest, a season of four short early plays by Bertolt Brecht in new translations (See News, 5 Jul 2006). The plays are presented as two double bills: A Respectable Wedding (translated by TV impressionist Rory Bremner, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins) and The Jewish Wife (translated by Martin Crimp, directed by Katie Mitchell), Senora Carrar’s Rifles (translated by Biyi Bandele, directed by Paul Hunter) and How Much Is Your Iron? (translated by Enda Walsh, directed by Orla O'Loughlin). The Brecht plays are performed in both the Maria and 80-seat Clare auditorium, with the first double bill running from 29 March to 14 April 2007 and the second from 20 April to 5 May 2007.


OPENING FRIDAY, 30 March 2007 (previews from 28 March), the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) presents Anthony Neilson’s acclaimed 2004 Edinburgh International Festival hit The Wonderful World of Dissocia at the Royal Court for a four-week run to 21 April 2007 as part of a national tour (See News, 12 Dec 2006). On a journey in search of one lost hour that tipped the balance of her life, Lisa Jones meets the funny, friendly and brutal inhabitants of the wonderful world she finds herself in, Dissocia. Written and directed by Neilson, the play is performed by original cast members James Cunningham, Christine Entwistle, Alan Francis, Amanda Hadingue, Jack James, Clair Little, Matthew Pidgeon and Barnaby Power. The play is co-produced by Plymouth’s Drum Theatre and Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.

- by Caroline Ansdell