Among the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 18 July 2005, Goblin Market, is at south London’s Southwark Playhouse. The play is adapted by Abigail Docherty as a contemporary retelling of Christina Rossetti’s Victorian poem about forbidden fruit and goblin curses. The Open Door production is directed by John Terry and runs until 6 August 2005.


OPENING TUESDAY, 19 July 2005 (previews from 7 July), Motown musical Dancing in the Streets boogies into the West End’s Cambridge Theatre, where it’s initially booking until 24 September 2005 (See News, 10 May 2005). The show’s medley of sing-along hits includes classics made famous by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Commodores, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. It’s directed by Keith Strachan, with choreography by Carole Todd, and is produced by Flying Music, the same company behind The Rat Pack, now running at the Savoy Theatre.

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OPENING WEDNESDAY, 20 July 2005 (previews from 14 July 2005), Mary Stuart, about how Queen Elizabeth I’s cousin came to be imprisoned for treason under threat of death for 19 years, is revived at the West End’s Donmar Warehouse, with a cast that includes Janet McTeer in the title role and Harriet Walter as Elizabeth I (See News, 4 Feb 2005). The new version of German playwright Friedrich Schiller’s 1800 romantic tragedy is written by Peter Oswald and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Its limited season continues until 3 September 2005.


OPENING THURSDAY, 21 July 2005 (previews from 19 July), Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore joins the summer repertoire at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. Gary Wilmot stars as the dastardly Dick Deadeye in Herbert Appleman’s new version of the classic 1878 sea-faring romp. The cast, directed by artistic director Ian Talbot, also features Desmond Barrit. The musical continues until 10 September 2005.

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ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 14 July), David Grindley’s new production of Joe Orton’s 1969 farce, What the Butler Saw opens at north London’s Hampstead Theatre (See News, 1 Jun 2005). Belinda Lang and Malcolm Sinclair star in the comedy, set in a lunatic asylum where the doctors are madder than the patients. It runs until 20 August 2005.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 19 July), Victor Spinetti stars in the world premiere of 22-year-old playwright James Graham’s Albert’s Boy at the fringe Finborough Theatre. The play, which questions the morality of nuclear power and the price of genius, runs until 13 August 2005.


OPENING FRIDAY, 22 July 2005 (previews from 19 July), Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune is revived at Leicester Square’s new Sound Theatre, where it continues to 13 August 2005. The story, about two people who find love in a New York diner, was made into a successful film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino.

- by Caroline Ansdell