Amongst the many major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 11 April 2005 (previews from 7 April), at north London’s Tricycle Theatre is the latest in the venue’s successful series of tribunal plays, Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry (See News, 26 Jan 2005). Richard Norton Taylor dramatises proceedings from the real-life enquiry into the events in Londonderry in 1972 when 13 civil rights activists were killed by British soldiers. The production is directed by Tricycle artistic director Nicolas Kent and continues until 30 April 2005.


OPENING TUESDAY, 12 April 2005 (previews from 7 April), a new production of David Grieg’s The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Women he Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union is revived at the Donmar Warehouse (See News, 4 Mar 2005). In Greig’s lyrical 1999 play, two forgotten cosmonauts orbit a world that can’t hear them. Directed by Tim Supple, the cast includes Michael Pennington, Anna Madeley and Sean Campion. It runs until 21 May 2005.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews 4 April), Kneehigh Theatre’s Tristan and Yseult arrives at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre (See News, 3 Feb 2005). Cornwall-based Kneehigh first performed Tristan and Yseult, the love story about the king who falls for his enemy’s sister, in 2003. It’s directed and adapted by Kneehigh artistic director Emma Rice and written by Carl Grose and Anna Maria Murphy. It continues in repertory until 7 June 2005.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 8 April), A Night at the Dogs receives its world premiere at Soho Theatre, where the six-week season, to 14 May, marks the theatre’s fifth anniversary in its Dean Street premises (See News, 16 Feb 2005). Written by Whatsonstage.com’s own business development manager Matt Charman, the debut play was chosen from over 700 submissions to win Soho’s prestigious Verity Bargate Award for new writing. In it, four mechanics form a syndicate to buy a racing greyhound whose winnings they hope will change their lives. The production is directed by Soho artistic director Abigail Morris and stars Neil Stuke (American Buffalo at the Young Vic, TV’s Game On).


OPENING THURSDAY, 14 April 2005 (previews 24 March), the musical version of MM Kaye’s popular historical novel The Far Pavilions receives its world premiere at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre, where it’s initially booking until 4 September (See News, 26 Oct 2005). The £4 million stage adaptation has been in development for more than eight years, the brainchild of producer Michael E Ward and features music by Philip Henderson and book and lyrics by Martin Guerre’s Stephen Clark. The production is directed by Gale Edwards and designed by Lez Brotherston. The 50-strong company is led by Hadley Fraser and Gayatri Iyer.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 7 April), actor-turned-director Alan Rickman directs the premiere of My Name Is Rachel Corrie at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (See News, 8 Dec 2004). The piece is based on the writings of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American who was killed when trying to protect a Palestinian home from Israeli bulldozers. Megan Dodds plays the title character. Its limited season continues until 30 April 2005.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 11 April) Chasing Ibsen, inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s classic A Doll's House and the infamous paintings of Edvard Munch, opens at the Jermyn Street Theatre, where it continues until 30 April 2005. As preparations for Bob’s funeral begin, his actress wife Lizzie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a touring production of the Ibsen play. Soon her fortunes begin to follow the path of her character Nora’s as a web of lies and deception unfolds. Diane Hillier directs.

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OPENING FRIDAY, 15 April 2005 (previews from 6 April), Phallacy premieres at north London’s New End Theatre (See News, 1 Apr 2005). The latest play by scientist-turned-playwright Carl Djerassi is inspired by an actual event when a famous classical statue was discovered to be a 16th-century fake. Phallacy is directed and produced by Andy Jordan, who’s directed four of Djerassi’s plays to date. The cast features Hamish Clark (TV’s Monarch of the Glen). The limited season ends on 14 May 2005.

- by Hannah Kennedy