The Royal Court has extended its limited season of Shining City by three weeks (See News, 16 Mar 2004). The latest play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, who also directs, received its world premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs on 9 June 2004 (previews from 4 June) and had been booking up to 17 July. It will now continue until 7 August 2004.

In Dublin, a man, who claims to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife, seeks help from a counsellor. The cast of Shining City are Stanley Townsend, Michael McElhatton, Kathy Kiera Clarke and Tom Jordan Murphy.

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.

At another west London venue, the Bush Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, another world premiere production has also added three weeks to its schedule. Steve Thompson’s first professionally produced play, Damages, directed by Roxana Silbert, opened on 4 June 2004 (previews from 2 June) and had been booking until 3 July. It will now continue until 23 July.

In a tabloid newspaper office, there’s only an hour to go before the presses roll when a controversial topless photo of a children’s TV presenter mysteriously arrives. Is this front page scoop a career maker or breaker, or a crushing libel settlement in disguise? The cast features Paul Albertson, John Bett, Amanda Drew and Phil McKee.

- by Terri Paddock