Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 3 July 2006, the current touring production of Richard O’Brien’s cult rock ‘n’ roll musical The Rocky Horror Show takes a break from its regional dates to run for three weeks, until 22 July, at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Christopher Luscombe, is led by David Bedella as Frank N Furter and former Hear’Say band member Suzanne Shaw as Janet. During its West End run, the guest star narrators, serving a week apiece, will be The League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton, Nigel Planer and Roger Lloyd Pack.

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OPENING TUESDAY, 4 July 2006 (preview 3 July), Rosamund Pike and Henry Goodman star in the UK premiere production of playwright Brian Friel’s new play, Performances, at Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, where it has a limited season until 15 July (See News, 9 Jun 2006). The play explores celebrated 20th-century Czech composer Leos Janacek’s (Goodman) attitudes towards his art and personal life and looks at how a romantic obsession with a much younger married woman, Kamila Stosslova (Pike), produced his greatest music, including the string quartet Intimate Letters. Chamber music group the Brodsky Quartet provides live music in the production, directed by Lou Stein and first seen at the Dublin Festival in 2003.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 5 July 2006 (previews from 25 June), Nicholas Jones and Frances Barber take the title roles in Antony and Cleopatra, the third production in Dominic Dromgoole’s inaugural season as artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe (See News, 1 Mar 2006). Dromgoole directs Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, which continues in rep until 8 October 2006.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Icelandic group Vesturport, which had a hit at the Young Vic and in the West End with a trapeze-driven version of Romeo and Juliet, brings its production of Georg Buchner’s classic Woyzeck to the Barbican Theatre for a limited run until 15 July 2006.


OPENING THURSDAY, 6 July 2006 (previews from 28 June), at the National Theatre, Simon Russell Beale (pictured) stars in The Life of Galileo, the third production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier (See News, 15 Feb 2006). Beale takes the title role as the 17th-century mathematician and astronomer whose discovery that the earth revolves around the sun brings him into dangerous conflict with the Church. The cast also features Oliver Ford Davies as the Cardinal Inquisitor, as well as Andrew Woodall, Zubin Varla, Tim McMullan, Duncan Bell and Elisabeth Dermot Walsh. Howard Davies directs Bertolt Brecht’s 1938 classic, in a version by David Hare first seen at the Almeida in 1994.

- by Terri Paddock