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Opening: Movin' Out, Mack, Hilda & NT Royal Hunt

By • West End
Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 10 April 2006 (previews from 28 March), Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp’s Broadway dance musical Movin' Out comes to the West End’s Apollo Victoria for a limited season ahead of a European tour (See News, 24 Feb 2006). The show, without dialogue, follows a group of high school friends from New York, as they dance their way through the Vietnam War, lost lives, lost loves and lost dreams. James Fox stars as the Piano Man at most performances.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 5 April), Mack and Mabel - starring Olivier Award winner Janie Dee and Starsky and Hutch’s David Soul – opens at the West End’s Criterion Theatre (See News, 3 Feb 2006). John Doyle’s actor-musician of the 1974 musical originated at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury in summer 2005, with Anna-Jane Casey as Mabel, the role now played by Dee, and Soul being described as “the best Mack I’ve ever seen” by the musical’s octogenarian composer Jerry Herman (the man behind Hello Dolly, Mame and La Cage Aux Folles).

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 5 April) Simon Farquhar makes his Royal Court debut with Rainbow Kiss, directed by Richard Wilson and starring Joe McFadden, at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs for a run to 6 May 2006 (See News, 10 Mar 2006). In his Aberdeen flat, a young man stakes everything on a one-night stand. But in a man's world today, work can be meaningless and emasculating, drink and drugs are the only painkillers, and cheap sex can cost you everything.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 6 April), Marie NDiaye’s 2002 French hit Hilda, in which an upper class woman becomes obsessed with the nanny she hires to care for her children, has its UK premiere at Hampstead Theatre. Translated by Sarah Woods and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, it runs to 6 May 2006. The cast are Sarah Cattle, Stella Gonet and Bo Poraj (See News, 8 Mar 2006).

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 4 April) Huge - co-written by Jez Butterworth, Ben Miller and Simon Godley – is revived at the King’s Head Theatre for a limited season to 29 April 2006 (See News, 16 Mar 2006). The play tells the story of double act Warren and Clark who prove that comedy is no laughing matter. The original 1993 production was seen at the King’s Head before a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 12 April 2006 (previews from 29 March), Trevor Nunn returns to the National Theatre to direct The Royal Hunt of the Sun, the first production in this year’s £10 Travelex Season in the NT Olivier (See News, 10 Nov 2005). Nunn’s revival of Peter Shaffer’s 1964 play - which was the first new work to be staged by the National company under Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic – stars Alun Armstrong and Paterson Joseph.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 11 April), Joseph Mydell takes the title role in Fraser Grace’s Breakfast with Mugabe (See News, 13 Dec 2005). Antony Sher’s production concludes the RSC’s New Work season at the Soho, which runs to 22 April 2006.


OPENING THURSDAY 13 April 2006 (preview 12 April), the Beckett Centenary Festival continues at the Barbican Centre (which runs simultaneously at Dublin’s Gate Theatre) with Play and Catastrophe, a double bill of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright’s short plays, for a run to 23 April 2006 (See News, 17 Mar 2006).

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 11 April), Jermyn Street Theatre launches as a producing house with Preacherosity (See News, 30 Mar 2006). Deep in the heart of Texas, the tiny Baptist Church in Bubbling Springs is desperate for a new preacher. Out of the blue, a stranger appears. He’s intense, mysterious and dangerously seductive. Is he the answer to their prayers, or the destruction of all their illusions? Preacherosity is produced by Jermyn Street manager Penny Horner and Simon James Collier, and directed by Omar F Okai. It runs to 6 May 2006.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (preview 12 April), the National Theatre of Scotland and Improbable Theatre’s The Wolves in the Walls transfers to west London’s Lyric Hammersmith for a run to 29 April, before continuing on tour in Scotland (See News, 2 Nov 2005). The play is based on the book by graphic novelist Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean, and directed by NTS artistic director Vicky Featherstone and Julian Crouch.

- by Caroline Ansdell


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