Two of the West End’s long-running productions – dramatic thriller The Woman in Black and Queen musical We Will Rock You - have recently announced extensions to their booking periods.

At the Dominion Theatre, where We Will Rock You opened in May 2002, the £7.5 million musical has added another six months to its booking period, taking it up to April 2006. Set in the future, We Will Rock You tells the story of a world in which globalisation has meant the death of real music in favour of computer-produced cyber stars, a status quo which the rebel Bohemians, harking back to the Golden Age of rock (embodied by Queen), are trying to overthrow so that they can write and perform their own music.

We Will Rock You stars Mig Ayesa and Hannah Jane Fox, as rebel lovers Galileo and Scaramouche, with Mazz Murray as the evil Killer Queen and Jenna Lee James as Meat. Jeff Shankley now plays hippy librarian Pop, Alex Bourne is the Queen’s lackey Kashoggi and Colin Charles is rebel Britney. The production is directed by Ben Elton and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, with costumes by Tim Goodchild, sound by Bobby Aitken.

At the Fortune Theatre, The Woman in Black had opened a new 12-month booking period, taking it up to 2 September 2006. Susan Hill’s 1970s novel, a ghost story told through the eyes of a keen young solicitor sent to a secluded house to wind up the affairs of a recently deceased woman, was adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt, who died last year (See News, 15 Dec 2004).

Originally produced at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in December 1987, The Woman in Black has been seen by over two million theatregoers since opening in London in 1989. Directed ever since its opening by Robin Herford, the spooky two-hander currently features Brian Miller and William Rycroft.

- by Terri Paddock