OPENING TONIGHT, Tuesday 18 April 2006 (previews from 8 April), Footloose, based on the popular 1984 teen film which starred Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, transfers to the West End’s Novello Theatre following two extensive UK tours (See News, 16 Feb 2006). City boy Ren moves with his mother to a small town in middle America where rock music and dancing are outlawed for religious reasons. Sparks fly when Ren and the minister's teenaged daughter Ariel rebel.
OPENING THURSDAY, 20 April 2006 (previews from 6 April), Dame Judi Dench stars in Hay Fever, directed by Sir Peter Hall, at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited run to 5 August (See News, 25 Jan 2006). Peter Bowles also features in Noel Coward’s comedy of manners (first performed in 1925) about bohemian actress Judith Bliss (Dench) and her writer husband, who live in a rural haven with their precocious son and daughter.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (preview 19 April), the Barbican’s Beckett Centenary Festival continues with Endgame (See News, 17 Mar 2006). Charles Sturridge’s revival of Samuel Beckett’s 1957 play stars Kenneth Cranham and runs until 23 April 2006.
OPENING FRIDAY, 21 April 2006 (previews from 13 April), the rescheduled press night for Phaedra, starring triple Olivier Award winner Clare Higgins, takes place at the Donmar Warehouse. Ben Meyjes has replaced Paul Nicholls - who had to withdraw on medical advice due to a severe throat infection (See News, 10 Apr 2006) - as Hippolytus in Racine’s drama about a woman’s love for her stepson. Tom Cairns directs the new version by Frank McGuinness.
- by Caroline Ansdell