Among the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 31 August 2005, American mind-reader Marc Salem returns to Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre after last year’s sell-out show, with Marc Salem's Mind Games (See News, 2 Jun 2004). The show was a hit at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and received its London premiere in October 2001 in a three-week season at the Hampstead Theatre. In spring 2002, it ran for eight weeks at the West End’s New Ambassadors Theatre (See News, 22 Jan 2004).

A behavioural psychologist as well as an entertainer, Salem has used his academic training and understanding of non-verbal communication as a consultant for the FBI, the New York police and several US corporations. The psychic uses tricks and cunning to outwit audience members as he reveals their innermost thoughts and explores the amazing potential of the human mind. Marc Salem's Mind Games has a limited season to 17 September 2005.

OPENING THURSDAY, 1 September 2005 (previews from 30 August), former Royal Ballet principal and I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! contestant Wayne Sleep stars in Into Thin Air!, a new musical comedy which runs at the New Players Theatre for a season to 24 September 2005 (See News, 3 Aug 2005). A drop-dead gorgeous pilot officer arrives at RAF Windsock and causes quite a stir among the other crew members, particularly for a handsome young pilot and the Station Adjutant (Sleep), who wants her to star in his all-singing, all-dancing station revue. However, she soon learns she is not at the right station at all, and has somehow entered a time warp to arrive at the base which disappeared in the 1950s.

Joining Sleep in the cast are James Bisp, Cate Debenham-Taylor, James Head, Rachel Izen, William Ludwig and Sorelle Marsh. The musical has book, music and lyrics by Robert A Gray, himself a former RAF officer, and is directed by choreographed by Stewart Nicholls and designed and lit by Leigh Porter, with musical direction by Karl Pendlebury and musical arrangements by Matthew Freeman.

OPENING FRIDAY, 2 September 2005 (previews from 31 August), Deborah Brevoort’s play The Women of Lockerbie, seen off-Broadway in 2003, receives its British premiere at Richmond’s Orange Tree theatre (See News, 27 Jul 2005). The play is set on 21 December 1995, the seventh anniversary of the day Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Madeline Livingston, whose 20-year-old son was killed in the crash, is still inconsolable at the loss, and she joins with similarly bereaved women in the search for an answer. The cast includes Todd Boyce, Emma D’Inverno, Lisa Eichhorn, John Hudson, Nan Kerr, Isobil Nisbit, and Colette O’Neil. The Women of Lockerbie is directed by Auriol Smith and runs to 1 October 2005.

- by Caroline Ansdell