OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 7 June 2004 (previews from 31 May), is Henry IV Part 1 at the Open Air Theatre. Alan Strachan’s production opens the Regent’s Park summer repertory season which runs until 11 September (See News, 6 Jan 2004). It’s joined from THIS FRIDAY 11 June (previews from 2 June) with a perennial park favourite, A Midsummer Night's Dream, this year directed by artistic director Ian Talbot.
The Open Air schedule continues next month with this year’s musical, a revival of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot, and the children’s show The Wind in the Willows. Amongst the Open Air company this year are Russ Abbot, Daniel Flynn, Christopher Godwin, Annette McLaughlin, Matt Rawle and Lauren Ward.
OPENING TUESDAY, 8 June (preview 7 June), Protestants, the latest offering from Ransom Productions, the company behind the award-winning Hurricane, transfers to Soho Theatre, following dates in Belfast and a regional tour. It continues, running concurrently with another Belfast-born solo show, Geraldine Hughes’ Belfast Blues, until 3 July (See News, 27 May 2004).
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 9 June 2004 (previews from 4 June), Shining City, the latest play written and directed by award-winning Irish playwright Conor McPherson, receives its world premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, in a co-production with Dublin’s Gate Theatre which continues up to 17 July (See News, 16 Mar 2004). In Dublin, a man, who claims to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife, seeks help from a counsellor.
McPherson is best known for his earlier ghostly stage tale, The Weir, which premiered at the Royal Court before transferring to the West End and Broadway, winning numerous awards including two Oliviers Awards (Best New Play and Best Supporting Actor) on the way. His other plays include This Lime Tree Bower, St Nicholas, Port Authority and, also premiered at the Royal Court, Dublin Carol.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, 9 June 2004 (previews from 7 June), television magician and illusionist Derren Brown brings his new stage show to the West End’s Palace Theatre as part of a UK-wide tour (See News, 14 Apr 2004). Derren Brown Live runs until 19 June.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, 9 June 2004, Abba musical Mamma Mia!, which recently celebrated its fifth birthday at the Prince Edward Theatre, faces the press in its new home at the Prince of Wales, where, after a slight delay, it moved in on 3 June (See News, 14 May 2004). Following a year-long, £7 million refurbishment, the Cameron Mackintosh theatre will be officially reopened on Thursday (10 June) with a Royal Gala charity performance attended by its namesake, HRH The Prince of Wales (See News, 20 May 2004).
- by Terri Paddock