Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield - during this shortened Bank Holiday week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Tuesday 5 May 2009 (previews from 28 April), Rupert Goold makes his National Theatre debut with his revival of JB Priestley’s 1937 “time play” Time and the Conways, which runs in rep in the NT Lyttelton (See News, 10 Nov 2008). The first Priestley play revived at the NT since Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning 1992 production of An Inspector Calls, Time and the Conways centres on another seemingly golden family and, from the perspective of daughter Kay’s 21st birthday in 1919, shuttles into their future and back again to see where the seeds of their downfall were planted. The cast features Francesca Annis and Adrian Scarborough.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 6 May 2009 (previews from 30 April), Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart star in Sean Mathias’ revival of Samuel Beckett’s 1955 classic Waiting for Godot at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket, following an eight-week regional tour (See News, 31 Oct 2008). McKellen and Stewart are Estragon and Vladimir, two tramps who pass the time by a deserted road as they wait for the mysterious Godot. They’re joined in the cast by Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup as Pozzo and Lucky. The limited season has recently been extended through to 26 July.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Monsters, Niklas Rådström’s controversial Swedish play about the 1993 murder of toddler James Bulger, receives its London premiere at the fringe Arcola Theatre, where it continues until 30 May. The two ten-year-old perpetrators are brought in for questioning.


OPENING THURSDAY, 7 May 2009 (preview 6 May), Julie Atherton and Paul Spicer star in Jason Robert Brown’s two-hander song cycle about the breakdown of a marriage, The Last Five Years, at the Duchess Theatre (See News, 1 Apr 2009). It continues until 10 May and is followed by Jonathan Larson’s tick… tick… BOOM! as part of a two-week Notes from New York season celebrating contemporary American musicals.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 22 April), The Contingency Plan, Steve Waters’ double bill of plays about climate change (On the Beach and Resilience), premieres at west London’s Bush Theatre for a run to 6 June (See News, 23 Jan 2009). The company includes Robin Soans and Geoffrey Streatfeild.


OPENING FRIDAY, 8 May 2009 (previews from 5 May), another new play, Invisible Storms, tackles climate change at the Cock Tavern in Kilburn, north London. The devised piece, centring on a group of environmental protesters, is directed by Jamie Harper and Dan Muirden, who attended the recent G20 protests as research for the project. The Sound Dust production continues until 30 May.

ALSO ON FRIDAY, Che Walker's modern-day drama set outside Camden Tube station, The Frontline, returns to Shakespeare’s Globe for a limited run to 23 May after its world premiere last summer (See News, 12 Feb 2009). Matthew Dunster directs.

- by Terri Paddock