Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 27 July 2004 (previews from 22 July, Stephen Sondheim’s modern musical classic about the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, becomes the second production at the West End’s new Trafalgar Studios, where it’s booking until 9 October (See News, 17 Jun 2004).

The production opened at Newbury’s 216-seat Watermill Theatre, converted from a mill beside the river Lambourn, this past February before embarking on a regional tour. It’s directed and designed by Watermill associate director John Doyle, and performed by a cast of nine actor-musicians led by Paul Hegarty as Todd and Karen Mann as his pie-making landlady Mrs Lovett.

The Trafalgar Studios, owned by ATG, comprises a 380-seat (where the musical is playing) and a 100-seat performance space, both carved out of the former 650-seat Whitehall Theatre (See News, 3 Jun 2004). While common in the subsidised sector, the remodelled building marks the first time that two such studios have existed beneath one roof in the commercial West End. Studio 1 was inaugurated on 3 June 2004 with the RSC’s production of Othello (See News, 2 Apr 2004).

OPENING FRIDAY, 30 July 2004 (previews from 27 July), the children’s show The Wind in the Willows completes this year’s repertoire for the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, where it runs until 21 August. Laura Baggeley directs David Conville and David Gooderson’s adaptation of the classic children’s novel. Carl Davis provides the music.

- by Terri Paddock