Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 28 April 2008 (previews from 23 April), Sheridan Smith, an Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Award nominee this year for Little Shop of Horrors, turns from musicals back to plays to star in Tinderbox, a dystopian revenge comedy by first-time playwright Lucy Kirkwood at the Bush Theatre (See News, 27 Mar 2008). Artistic director Josie Rourke directs a cast that also includes Bryan Dick, Jamie Foreman, Sartaj Garewal and Nigel Betts. The production continues until 24 May 2008.


OPENING TUESDAY, 29 April 2008 (previews from 24 April), Martin Crimp’s new play, comic mystery The City, receives its world premiere at the Royal Court, running in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs main house until 7 June 2008, directed by Katie Mitchell. Three characters – played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Hattie Morahan and Amanda Hale (See News, 4 Mar 2008) - fight to make sense of a surreal and collapsing world.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, the premiere of Irish playwright Lisa Harding’s Starving, a comic journey through addiction and therapy, opens at south London’s Theatre 503, directed by Simon Usher, for a run to 3 May 2008.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 30 April 2008 (previews from 25 April), at the National Theatre, Vanessa Redgrave recreates her 2007 Tony Award-nominated performance in the UK premiere of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s one-woman play based on her autobiographical book about bereavement, which runs in rep in the NT Lyttelton (See News, 2 Oct 2007). It’s directed by playwright David Hare and, following its South Bank dates, will tour nationally and internationally.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING on 19 May 2008 – including a FREE drink & our EXCLUSIVE Q&A with both DAVID HARE & (just confirmed) VANESSA REDGRAVE!!!! - click here for more info! **

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, An Eligible Man, a new comedy by Rosemary Friedman, opens at north London’s New End Theatre, for a run to 8 June 2008.


OPENING THURSDAY, 1 May 2008 (preview 30 April), former Mary Poppins Scarlett Strallen leads the cast in a revival of David Mamet’s The Shawl at north London’s Canal Café Theatre, running until 17 May.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 29 April), The Trojan Whores - collectively written by Dawn Rose, Sally Wilden and Peppy Barlow - premieres at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre for a run to 25 May 2008.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 29 April), The Only Girl in the World, a new play about Jack the Ripper, written by Glyn Maxwell (whose Liberty premieres at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer), opens at east London’s Arcola Theatre, where it runs until 24 May 2008.


OPENING FRIDAY, 2 May 2008 (previews from 23 April), the Globe’s 2008 season, under the title “Totus Mondus”, gets officially under way with the press performance artistic director Dominic Dromgoole’s new production of King Lear, starring David Calder in the title role (See News, 6 Feb 2008).

** DON’T MISS the chance to see KING LEAR for only £25!! – offer ends 2 May 2008 - click here for more info! **

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 29 April), the Ibsen season at the Arcola Theatre continues with Frank McGuinness’ new adaptation of the Norwegian playwright’s 1888 classic The Lady from the Sea, starring Lia Williams as the doomed Ellida Wangel, directed by Hannah Eidenow (See News, 4 Apr 2008). It runs until 31 May.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 30 April), Joanna Baillie’s rarely seen romantic tragedy De Montfort, written in 1798, is revived at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, for a run to 31 May 2008.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 30 April), Neil Flynn’s Clocked premieres at the Warehouse Theatre in Croydon. The selected play from the venue’s International Playwriting Festival 2007, it tells the story of a painter named Quinn and two other men whose lives and relationships affect and inflict one another in the most deadly of ways. Artistic director Ted Craig directs the production, which continues until 25 May 2008. The cast includes Lee Colley.


ON SUNDAY, 4 May 2008, Broadway legends Barbara Cook and Angela Lansbury fly in for Jerry Herman's Broadway, a one-off concert at the West End’s London Palladium celebrating the work of American composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, who will also take part (See News, 14 Mar 2008). The event aims to raise £250,000 for Crusaid.

- by Terri Paddock