Amongst the major London openings in the West End and beyond this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 5 July 2010, participatory show You Me Bum Bum Train, created by artists Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd in 2004, returns to London as part of the Barbican's 101 things to do this summer season. It continues at the LEB Building, Bethnal Green until 24 July.


OPENING TUESDAY, 6 July 2010, Classic Moments - Hidden Treasures is a cabaret of some of the lesser known works of Stephen Sondheim, running at the Jermyn Street Theatre until 24 July (See News, 3 Jun 2010).

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Canadian troupe Catalyst Theatre’s macabre musical Nevermore - The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe opens at the Barbican Theatre for a five-night run.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 July 2010 (previews from 26 June), at the Comedy Theatre, Joanna Lumley, David Hyde Pierce and West End man-of-the-moment Mark Rylance star in Matthew Warchus’ revival of La Bete, David Hirson’s Moliere-inspired 1991 play, set in 17th-century France (See News, 16 Feb 2010).

The comedy centres on Elomire (Pierce), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess (Lumley) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 2 July), Theatre Royal Stratford East presents I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, which takes its title from a quote from a 1994 earthquake survivor and centres on the effect of a catastrophic earthquake on a group of twenty-somethings. Until 17 July.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Improbable Theatre’s long-running Lifegame is played anew at Lyric Hammersmith until 17 July. Each night a mystery guest will be interviewed about their life: their loves, regrets, fantasies and dreams. As they talk, watch Improbable transform their stories, there and then, into a magical piece of theatre.


OPENING THURSDAY, 8 July 2010 (previews from 6 July), psycho-sexual musical thriller Wolfboy, based on Brad Fraser’s play of the same name, opens at Trafalgar Studios 2, with a cast led by Daniel Boys (See News, 27 May 2010). Until 31 July.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, Andrew Keates' revival of Martin Sherman's Bent opens at the Tabard Theatre for a month-long run following a sold-out season at the Landor earlier this year.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 7 July), New Zealand's Loons Circus Theatre Company bring The Butler, “a dinner party like no other”, to the Pleasance Theatre. Until 31 July.


OPENING FRIDAY, Aftermath, a piece of documentary theatre based on Iraqi civilians displaced by war seeking refuge in Jordan, premieres at the recently opened Old Vic Tunnels (See News, 19 Feb 2010), where it continues until 17 July.