Among the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 27 June 2005, at the National’s Olivier Theatre is a series of three specially commissioned short plays to mark the forthcoming G8 summit, under the title G8 Plays. As leaders in the developed world meet to try to solve problems of poverty and disease in the developing world, the plays look at some of the aims of the summit, including debt cancellation, better aid and trade justice. The plays are on tonight, tomorrow and on Thursday (30 June).

OPENING TUESDAY, 28 June 2005 (previews from 17 June), also at the National, The President of an Empty Room receives its world premiere (See News, 20 Apr 2005). Directed by Howard Davies, this first stage play by Stephen Knight (who wrote the screenplay for Dirty Pretty Things) is set amid the vibrant community of a Cuban cigar factory, complete with flamenco dancing.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 29 June 2005, Feeast, a ten-day festival of theatre from Central and Eastern Europe, launches at west London’s Riverside Studios. The first play, Paper World, is from the Ukraine.

OPENING FRIDAY, 1 July 2005 (previews from 29 June), People Show presents its latest offering, number 114 - entitled The Obituary Show and described as a retrospective look at life - at west London’s Bush Theatre for a limited season to 23 July. (See News, 3 Mar 2005).

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 29 June), Adam Canavan’s Third Finger, Left Hand transfers from York’s Theatre Royal to Hampstead’s New End Theatre for a run to 30 July. Set in Lancashire, the play is based on the writer’s two sisters and the emotional trials the women go through when one of them is diagnosed with cancer. Sonia Fraser directs.

OPENING SUNDAY, 3 July 2005, Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose receives its theatrical premiere at Sadler’s Wells as the third and final production in this year’s Lost Musicals season (See News, 17 Feb 2005). Written by Sondheim with book writer James Goldman (A Lion in Winter, Follies) as a television project starring Anthony Perkins, Evening Primrose has not been performed since it was first broadcast in 1967. In it, Charles, a poet, escapes the world by living in a department store where he falls in love with Ella, one of the window mannequins. Songs include “Take Me to the World”, “If You Can Find Me I’m Here”, “I Remember” and “When”. Ian Marshall Fisher’s semi-staged production continues on subsequent Sundays, 10, 17 and 24 July.

- by Caroline Ansdell