The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Breakfast with Mugabe has posted early closing notices at the West End’s Duchess Theatre. The play opened for a limited season on 8 May 2006 (previews from 3 May) after transferring from the Swan Theatre in Stratford and subsequent Off-West End dates at Soho Theatre. It was originally booking at the Duchess until 10 June 2006, but will now close two weeks early on 27 May.

Antony Sher made his West End directing debut with the new play by Fraser Grace, which portrays the combative relationship between the controversial Zimbabwean president, who is suffering from depression, and his fictional psychiatrist, who is white. Joseph Mydell stars in title role, alongside David Rintoul and Noma Dumezweni.

Meanwhile, the debut stage play of TV writer Carmel Morgan, Smaller, starring Dawn French, Alison Moyet and June Watson and directed by Kathy Burke, will finish its extended run at the West End’s Lyric Theatre on 3 June 2006, ahead of a week at Manchester Opera House from 6 to 10 June 2006.

Smaller opened in the West End on 4 April 2006 (previews from 28 March) following a six-week regional tour. The show was originally booking until 6 May and then extended to 20 May (See News, 10 Apr 2006) before announcing its final West End extension to 3 June.

Bernice Clulow (French) is a cheerful schoolteacher burdened with the care of her disabled mother (played by June Watson). The stress of the task has already driven away her sister Cath (Moyet), who left the country to work in musical theatre and now sings for hen parties in Puerto Banus. When Cath returns, recriminations and bitterness ensue.

- by Caroline Ansdell