Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 12 March 2007 (previews from 6 March), the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Whatsonstate.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award-winning production of the sci-fi spoof Little Shop of Horrors transfers to the West End’s Duke of York’s (See News, 19 Jan 2007). The original Menier cast – including Sheridan Smith, Paul Keating, Mike McShane and Barry James – reprise their performances in the West End, with the addition of TV impressionist Alistair McGowan as sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello.

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical is loosely based on Roger Corman’s popular low-budget 1960 film. Nerdy orphan Seymour (Keating) works in Mr Mushnik’s Skid Row florist shop, along with girl of his dreams Audrey (Smith), who is dating Scrivello. After a solar eclipse, Seymour discovers a peculiar plant with a bloodthirsty appetite, which he names Audrey II. As his infatuation with the real Audrey grows, so does the plant. The musical is directed by Matthew White and designed by David Farley. It’s produced in the West End by Chocolate Factory Productions, along with co-producers Bob Boyett, Richard Frankel, Steve Baruch, Thomas Viertel, Marc Routh and Stephanie McClelland.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS on 5 April 2007 - including our EXCLUSIVE post-show reception with the cast - all for just £27.50!! - click here for more details! **

ALSO TONIGHT, the Maly Theatre of St Petersburg returns to the Barbican with Chekhov’s Platonov in a production featuring on-stage fireworks and celebrating the arts centre’s 25th anniversary (See News, 20 Sep 2006).


OPENING TUESDAY, 13 March 2007, (previews from 8 March), English Touring Theatre premieres Someone Else's Shoes, Drew Pautz’s new comedy about globalisation, at Soho Theatre for a run to 7 April 2007 (See News, 13 Feb 2007).

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Upstart Theatre presents London Calling, two plays about surviving in the city, at the fringe Theatre 503 for a run to 17 March 2007.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 14 March 2007 (previews from 8 March), Katie Mitchell’s tenth anniversary production of Martin Crimp’s Attempts on Her Life opens at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre for a run to 10 May 2007 (See News, 2 Nov 2006). A rollercoaster of late 20th-century obsessions, Crimp’s scenarios cover everything from pornography to ethnic violence, terrorism and unprotected sex care of a strange array of nameless characters. The cast includes Kate Duchene, Michael Gould and Jacqueline Kington. The production is designed by Vicki Mortimer.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 13 March), Don't Look Now, adapted from the Daphne du Maurier novel, arrives at the Lyric Hammersmith for a run to 31 March 2007 (See News, 11 Dec 2006). After their daughter is drowned, John and Laura visit Venice to escape their pain. They meet two sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic and have visions of the dead girl. Du Maurier’s supernatural thriller was originally published under the title Not After Midnight and was made into a 1973 film starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. The stage version of Don't Look Now is written by Nell Leyshon (Comfort Me with Apples) and conceived and directed by Lucy Bailey.


OPENING THURSDAY, 15 March 2007 (previews from 8 March), Dying for It, Moira Buffini’s new adaptation of The Suicide, premieres at the Almeida Theatre for a run to 28 April 2007 (See News, 31 Jan 2007). Inspired by Nikolai Erdman’s satirical 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).


OPENING FRIDAY, 16 March 2007 (previews from 13 March), Sheffield Theatre’s revival of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker arrives at north London’s Tricycle Theatre as part of a regional tour (See News, 15 Dec 2006). Premiered in 1960, The Caretaker is set in the late 1950s in a seedy west London flat where two grown brothers – brain-damaged Aston (O’Neill) and menacing Mick (Harman) - have their lives disrupted by a bad-tempered tramp named Davies (Bradley). David Bradley, Nigel Harman and Con O'Neill star in Jamie Lloyd’s production, which is at the Tricycle until 14 April 2007.

- by Caroline Ansdell