Three Sisters - which stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Kate Burton and Madeleine Worrall as the siblings of the title - opened at the West End's Playhouse Theatre, originally for ten weeks only, from 3 April 2003 (previews from 20 March). It has now added six weeks to its schedule and is booking to 29 June.
Scott Thomas plays Masha, Burton Olga and Worrall Irina in Chekhov's classic drama - in a new version by Christopher Hampton - about three women stuck in a Russian army outpost, dreaming about freedom, romance and Moscow. The rest of the accomplished cast includes Eric Sykes (Ferapont), Robert Bathurst (Vershinin), James Fleet (Kulygin), Douglas Hodge (Andrei), Sebastian Bates (Fedotik), Susannah Wise (Natasha), David Antrobus (Rode), Tom Beard (Solyony), David Burke (Chebutykin), Margery Mason (Anfisa).
At the National, Jerry Springer - The Opera's addition of 15 extra performances to its repertory schedule at the Lyttelton Theatre comes ahead of next week's press night (and just after this week's Whatsonstage.com Outing at which 125 WOS theatregoers gave the show their vote of approval). Previously a hit in concert form at Battersea Arts Centre and the Edinburgh Fringe, the new full-fledged production opens on 29 April 2003 (following previews from 9 April) and had been booking up to 5 July only. It is now taking bookings up to 30 August 2003.
The new musical - written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee - who also directs, is inspired by America's lurid talk show host, played on stage by Michael Brandon. The 36-strong cast also includes David Bedella, Valda Aviks, Alison Jiear and Andrew Bevis. The production is designed by Julian Crouch.
Promising "triumph, tragedy and trailer trash as high art meets low", as the title suggests, Jerry Springer - The Opera is based on America's most lurid talk show host who has broadcast programmes such as "Pregnant by a Transsexual", "Here Come the Hookers" and "I Refuse to Wear Clothes". In the musical, Springer suffers the worst day of his career, during which he's taken from his studio to both heaven and hell, confronting some of his bizarre guests, including a Chick with a Dick and a diaper-wearing baritone, along the way.
- by Terri Paddock