OPENING TUESDAY, 22 April 2008 (previews from 5 April), Jill Paice and Darius Danesh star as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in the new musical adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gone With the Wind at the West End’s New London. The premiere production of the musical, which has a book and lyrics by Margaret Martin, is directed by Trevor Nunn and designed by John Napier. The opening follows the cancellation of a preview performances last week as the creative team worked on shortening the epic show’s running time (See News, 14 Apr 2008).
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 23 April 2008 (ahead of a 2 May press night), Shakespeare’s birthday, artistic director Dominic Dromgoole’s new production of King Lear, starring David Calder launches the Shakespeare’s Globe 2008 “Totus Mondus” season, running in rep until 17 August (See News, 6 Feb 2008). The season continues with new productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Timon of Athens as well as two new plays commissioned by the Globe, Che Walker’s The Frontline, set in modern London outside Camden Tube station, and Glyn Maxwell’s Liberty.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, 23 April 2008 (previews from 16 April), Harper Regan, a new play by Simon Stephens, premieres at the National Theatre, with Lesley Sharp in the title role. NT associate Marianne Elliott directs a cast that also features Eamon Boland, Susan Brown, Brian Capron, Jack Deam, Troy Glasgow and Jessica Harris (See News, 5 Mar 2008). Harper Regan runs in rep at the NT Cottesloe until 9 August 2008.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 22 April), Aoife Smyth directs the premiere of Michael Mallon’s A Picture of Alchemy at the Etcetera Theatre, running until 11 May 2008.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 22 April), The Fall and Rise of Lenny Smallman opens for a two-week run to 4 May at the Arts Theatre. Written and performed by Richard Lumsden, the play with live music tells of the travels and turbulence in the life of a struggling musician as he tries to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, including David Bowie.
OPENING THURSDAY, 24 April 2008 (previews from 22 April), Saskia Reeves and Rafe Spall star in Hello and Goodbye, South African Athol Fugard’s semi-autobiographical 1965 play about an explosive family conflict, at Trafalgar Studios 2. Paul Robinson’s production continues until 17 May (See News, 27 Mar 2008).
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 22 April), Russell Labey adapts and directs William Sutcliffe’s New Boy at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick, running until 17 May 2008.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 22 April), Graeae, one of Britain’s leading disabled theatre companies, returns to the Soho Theatre with Static, a new play by Dan Reballato, in a limited run until 3 May 2008.
- by Theo Bosanquet