Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 1 June 2004 (previews from 26 May), Jonathan Kent revives Marivaux’s subversive look at the cruelties of courtship and sexual manners, The False Servant, in a new version by Martin Crimp at the NT Cottesloe. The production sees the long overdue UK professional stage debut of the French-based British screen actress Charlotte Rampling (See News, 19 Feb 2004), heading a cast which also Nancy Carroll (replacing Lia Williams), David Collings, Adrian Scarborough and David Shaw Parker. It continues in repertory up to 15 September 2004.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 2 June 2004 (previews from 23 May), Shakespeare's Globe "Season of Star-Crossed Lovers" continues with Much Ado About Nothing. Josie Lawrence and Yolanda Vasquez star as Benedick and Beatrice in Tamara Harvey’s all-female production, running in repertory until 25 September.


OPENING THURSDAY, 3 June 2004 (previews from 26 May), the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Othello transfers to the West End where it inaugurates the new Trafalgar Studios, formerly the Whitehall Theatre (See News, 7 Apr 2004). Fellow South Africans Sello Maake ka Ncube and Antony Sher star as Othello and Iago in Gregory Doran’s production, which marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Prior to opening, the limited season has already been extended by a fortnight and is now running until 17 July (See News, 14 May 2004).


OPENING FRIDAY, 4 June (previews from 1 June), is Belfast Blues, a new one-woman show written and performed by Geraldine Hughes, drawing on her memories of growing up in Catholic Belfast in the 1970s and 80s. From 8 June (preview 7 June), it will run concurrently with another Belfast-born solo show, Protestants (See News, 27 May 2004).

- by Terri Paddock