Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 5 June 2006 (previews from 1 June), the Roundhouse in Camden, north London, officially reopens after a two-year, £29.8 million refurbishment with Fuerzabruta, the latest show from the founders of De La Guarda, which had a sell-out 11-month run at the venue in 1999/2000 (See News, 1 Feb 2006).

Running in the Roundhouse’s main space until 30 July, Fuerzabruta features 12 performers hurtling through a 65-minute physical theatre show at breakneck speed, using every elemental force available, played out against a soundtrack of club beats and world music. The publicity also promises “strobe lighting, nudity (moderate), water (lots), scenes of a poetic, violent and beautiful nature and a whole lot of mess” that it labels “an all-standing rave of a show”.

ALSO TONIGHT, Seventies pop star David Essex joins the cast of Footloose at the West End’s Novello Theatre (See News, 12 May 2006). Contracted for three months only, Essex takes over from Stephen McGann as the Rev Shaw Moore, who has rock music and dancing outlawed in a small American town. Essex appears opposite Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz fame, as his wife.


OPENING TUESDAY, 6 June 2006 (previews from 26 May) at the National Theatre, Market Boy, which reunites Festen’s playwright and director, David Eldridge and Rufus Norris, receives its world premiere as the second production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier. In 1985 in Romford Market, a young boy learns the lessons of Thatcherite economics, to a soundtrack of Eighties pop classics. The cast features Claire Rushbrook (Festen), Jonathan Cullen, Callum Dixon, Paul Moriarty and Freddy Boy with Danny Worters as the title character. Market Boy continues in rep until 3 August 2006.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to Market Boy on 19 July 2006 - including FREE drink, post-show Q&A with Rufus Norris & FREE signed programmes for first 50 bookers – all for only £15!! - click here for more details! **


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 June 2006 (preview 6 June), Oladipo Agboluaje’s The Estate premieres at Soho Theatre, in a limited season to 17 June. In the comedy - directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, artistic director of African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi, which co-produces - family feuds, illicit relationships and class divides have a contemporary Nigerian twist when a widow is determined to make her husband’ funeral the media event of the year.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 30 May), Diamond, a new play with music by Linda Wilkinson, returns to the King’s Head Theatre in Islington, where it was previously seen in January. Adapted from the BBC Radio 4 play Diamond Lil, it follow two very unusual love stories in Bethnal Green, east London, during the Second World War. Its limited season runs until 8 July 2006.

** DON’T MISS the chance to see Diamond for only £10 – offer ends 6 June 2006 - click here for more details! **


OPENING FRIDAY, 9 June 2006 (previews from 7 June), Alecky Blythe’s Cruising premieres at west London’s Bush Theatre in a limited season to 1 July (See News, 14 Mar 2006). Blythe’s company Recorded Delivery (whose first show, Come Out Eli, won the Time Out Live Award for Best production on the Fringe in 2003 and was nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Award) use recorded and edited interviews to create Cruising, about pensioners in search of passion. Since her heart was broken by David from Aberdeen – the world’s best lover and a millionaire – Maureen is finding it difficult to meet anyone else who can satisfy her; even after 33 blind dates and 12 cruises. Seen last year in a reading at the Bush, this new full production is directed by Matthew Dunster.

- by Terri Paddock