Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield - this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 9 March 2010 (preview 22 February), Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber\'s follow-up to his musical blockbuster The Phantom of the Opera, opens at the Adelphi Theatre, with a cast led by Ramin Karimloo as the eponymous masked man and Sierra Boggess as his muse Christine.

The action is set in 1907, ten years after the conclusion of the original story. The Phantom has escaped to New York with Madame and Meg Giry and found success in the fairgrounds of Coney Island as a magician and entertainer. When he builds a new opera house, he persuades his old ingenue Christine Daae, now a huge star and married to her old flame Raoul, to sing for him once more...

ALSO ON TUESDAY, A new production of Martin McDonagh’s black comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane, about the relationship between a middle aged spinster and her manipulative elderly mother, arrives at Greenwich Theatre, where it continues until 13 March as part of a national tour.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 10 March 2010 (previews from 2 March), Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw and Richard Briers star in Nicholas Hytner\'s revival of Dion Boucicault\'s classic comedy London Assurance at the National’s Olivier (See News, 13 Nov 2009), where it continues in rep until 2 June 2010.

The play centres on Sir Harcourt Courtly (Russell Beale), who is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, 45 years his junior. Arriving at Oak Hall, Gloucestershire, he marvels at this rural Venus until her charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Spanker (Shaw).

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Stephen Sondheim’s 1964 musical Anyone Can Whistle is revived at Jermyn Street Theatre to mark the composer\'s 80th birthday later this month. The production, which runs to 17 April 2010, is directed by Tom Littler - who helmed Sondheim\'s Saturday Night at the same venue in 2008 - and features a cast including Issy van Randwyck, David Ricardo-Pearce and Rosalie Craig.


OPENING THURSDAY, 11 March 2010 (previews from 9 March), A Sentimental Journey, a new musical based on the life of Doris Day, transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall, following dates last spring at Oxfordshire’s Mill at Sonning (See News, 12 Jan 2010). 

Continuing until 4 April 2010, the show tells Day’s remarkable story with the help of many of the songs she helped make famous during her career, including “Move Over Darling”, “The Deadwood Stage”, “Secret Love”, “Little Girl Blue”, “Day By Day”, “Que Sera Sera”, “Young at Heart” and the 1945 title song.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart offers three stories of humanity in the Middle East, at Trafalgar Studios 2. Presented by Pilot Theatre company, the play features stories set in different locations around the Middle East, exploring political tensions by grounding them in the human issues of love, life and death. Until 3 April 2010.