Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 17 March 2009 (previews from 11 March), Michael Praed and Josefina Gabrielle star in The Murder Game, which is at north London’s King’s Head Theatre until 11 April. The screwball comedy is set in New Orleans where a killer is on the loose and the two people whose job it is to uphold justice need to find him before they end up killing each other. It’s the debut play by American lawyer and political consultant James Farwell. John Tillinger directs.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 18 March 2009 (previews from 13 March), Judi Dench (pictured) and Rosamund Pike star in the UK premiere of Madame de Sade, the third production in the Donmar West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre (See News, 12 Dec 2008). Yukio Mishima’s little-known 1965 Japanese drama, translated by Donald Keene, centres on five women affected by the debauchery of the Marquis de Sade. Pike is the Marquis’ wife, Dench is his mother-in-law. Also in the cast are Frances Barber, Fiona Button, Deborah Findlay and Jenny Galloway. Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Grandage directs the production, which continues until 23 May 2009.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 17 March), The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster’s Jacobean tragedy re-imagined in 1940s England, opens at south London’s Blue Elephant Theatre. Ricky Dukes directs the Lazarus Theatre Company production, which runs until 4 April 2009.


OPENING THURSDAY, 19 March 2009 (previews from 17 March), Skins star Nicholas Hoult makes his West End debut in the stage version of William Sutcliffe’s 1998 coming-of-age novel New Boy, adapted and directed by Russell Labey and running until 11 April (See News, 14 Nov 2008). Mark starts sixth form knowing this is his last chance to be popular. Good-looking new boy Barry is having trouble making friends, but he could be the perfect ally in Mark’s mission to enhance his social status and finally get a shag. The cast also features Gregg Lowe, Mel Giedroyc and Ciara Janson.

** Our Whatsonstage.com Outing to NEW BOY on 24 March 2009 – including a FREE drink, FREE programme, FREE poster & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A! – has completely SOLD OUT! – click here to join the waiting list! **

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 14 March), the Young Vic’s Maria Studio hosts the world premiere of Colin Teevan’s Kafka\'s Monkey. The play, adapted from Kafka’s short story A Report to an Academy, stars Kathryn Hunter as a “woman playing a monkey playing a man”, and tours to Australia after its London run, which finishes 9 April 2009.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (preview 18 March), puppeteer Ronnie Burkett returns to the Barbican Theatre with Billy Twinkle Requiem for a Golden Boy, which runs until 28 March and then tours to Manchester, Northampton and Warwick.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 17 March), veteran actor Michael Craig stars in the UK premiere of Joanna McClelland Glass’ Trying, which runs at the Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court until 11 April.

- by Terri Paddock