Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 10 March 2008 (previews from 7 March), Debbie Tucker Green’s new play random, performed by Nadine Marshall and directed by Sacha Wares, premieres at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs for a run to 12 April (See News, 8 Nov Tucker Green’s previous plays include born bad (which won her the 2004 Olivier for Most Promising Newcomer), stoning mary, generations, trade and dirty butterfly.


OPENING TUESDAY, 11 March 2008 (previews from 6 March), following two sell-out seasons in east London, Theatre Royal Stratford East’s screen-to-stage adaptation of the cult reggae film The Harder They Come returns for a month at the Barbican Theatre, where it runs until 5 April before also visiting Birmingham Hippodrome from 11 to 13 April (See News, 18 Jan 2008).

Based on the 1972 film that starred Jimmy Cliff and introduced reggae to a worldwide audience, The Harder They Come tells the story of young singer Ivan Martin who heads to Kingston in Jamaica with dreams of becoming a reggae star, but the harsh reality of the music scene drives him to a fast and furious life as an outlaw. The stage version – written by Perry Henzell, the co-writer, director and producer of the original film, who died in 2006 – premiered in April 2006 at Stratford East and features songs from the film soundtrack, including “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and “By the Rivers of Babylon”, accompanied by a live reggae band.


OPENING THURSDAY, 13 March 2008 (preview 12 March), Ciaran McConville’s Snowbound receives its world premiere at Trafalgar Studios 2, where it runs until 19 April 2008. The Connor brothers have always had each other. Tom is the rock, who looks after Alex, for whom small things can be overwhelming. When they decide to make a film about love, they learn that means different things for every family. Karl Davies stars in the Debut Theatre production, directed by Samantha Potter.


OPENING FRIDAY, 14 March 2008 (previews from 12 March), Stan Laurel Please Stand Up!, based on the life of Stan Laurel and written and performed by Bob Kingdom, receives its world premiere at south London’s Croydon Warehouse, where it continues until 30 March before launching a four-month regional tour.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 12 March), Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre presents the UK premiere of American writer Susan Glaspell’s 1922 play Chains of Dew, running until 26 April 2008.

- by Terri Paddock