Sheridan Smith, an Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Award nominee (not to mention a Whatsonstage.com Awards concert co-host!) this year for Little Shop of Horrors, returned to the stage last night (28 April 2008, previews from 23 April) to star in first-time playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s dystopian black comedy Tinderbox, which runs at west London’s Bush Theatre until 24 May (See News, 27 Mar 2008).

In the late 21st century, one man, Saul, still clings to Traditional British Values, managing his wayward wife Vanessa (Smith) and running a butcher’s shop: his Empire. When Perchik, committed vegetarian and outlaw artist, swims across Hadrian’s Channel to England and stows away in a container full of meat, he lands up in Saul’s shop. Since Saul’s last boy went missing, Perchik gets an instant job offer. With riots raging in the streets outside, it may be safest to accept. Or maybe not.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF TINDERBOX’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

Smith is joined in the cast by Jamie Foreman as Saul and Bryan Dick as Perchik as well as Sartaj Garewal and Nigel Betts. The production is directed by Bush artistic director Josie Rourke and designed by Lucy Osborne, with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Emma Laxton.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand with the Tinderbox company for the post-show party at the Bush Theatre. Other first night guests included Mel Kenyon, Tamara Harvey, Paul Ready and Daisy Haggard.

A few nights earlier, Wooller was across town at Trafalgar Studios 2 for the opening of Hello and Goodbye. Paul Robinson directs this new production of South African Athol Fugard’s semi-autobiographical two-hander, performed by Rafe Spall (recently seen starring on TV’s He Kills Coppers) and Saskia Reeves (See News, 27 Mar 2008).

Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Johnny is alone in the family home when a stranger arrives: Don't you recognise me at all?... I'm Hester. Your sister. Why has Hester returned? What is Johnny so afraid of? And what lies in the darkened bedroom next door? That night, hopes and secrets of the past and present are revealed in a tense battle of wills. Opened on 24 April 2008 (previews from 22 April), Hello and Goodbye continues until 17 May.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF HELLO & GOODBYE 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

-by Terri Paddock