Amongst the major London openings, in the West End and further afield, this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 17 May 2011 (previews from 10 May), Howard Davies (The White Guard) returns to the National Theatre to direct Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in the NT Olivier, where it runs in rep with a cast led by NT associate Zoe Wanamaker as Ranyevskaya.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Many Moons, the ‘stellar’ debut play by Alice Birch, opens at Theatre503 in Battersea. Centring on the disparate love lives of four Londoners, it continues until 11 June, directed by Derek Bond.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, As You Like It joins the rep at Shakespeare’s Globe, running as part of a small-scale national tour, directed by James Dacre.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 18 May 2011 (previews from 12 May), Silence, created by Filter and David Farr (who also collaborated on Water), continues the Royal Shakespeare Company’s season of premieres at Hampstead Theatre, where it runs until 28 May.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, David Woods and Jon Haynes’ Total Football, a comic meditation on “immortality, happiness and why England always lose”, comes to the Barbican for a month-long run.


OPENING THURSDAY, 19 May 2011, Morgan Lloyd Malcom's new play Belongings, centring on a young female soldier returning home from Afghanistan, premieres at Hampstead Theatre with a run to 11 June, directed by Maria Aberg.


OPENING FRIDAY, 20 May 2011 (previews from 11 May), Deborah Warner returns to the Barbican Theatre following her 2005 production of Julius Caesar to direct Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s high-spirited, comic masterpiece The School for Scandal, which runs until 18 June 2011.

ALSO ON FRIDAY, (previews from 17 May), The London premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigone opens at Southwark Playhouse for a five week run starring Edward Petherbridge as the prophet Tiresias. It continues until 18 June 2011.