The West End’s Trafalgar Studios, which has been dark since the conclusion of Losing Louis on 25 June 2005, will reopen this autumn with a new production of Shoot the Crow by “Belfast's chronicler of lost illusions” Owen McCafferty. It opens on 11 October 2005 (previews from 28 September) and is initially booking until 10 December.

Set on an Irish building site, Shoot the Crow is billed as “a sad and hilarious play” about four tilers who, as they come to the end of the job they've been working on, plan to nick a leftover pallet of tiles.

McCafferty’s previous plays in London include an adaptation of JP Miller's Days of Wine and Roses, which premiered earlier this year at the Donmar Warehouse; Closing Time, staged in the National Theatre's temporary Loft Theatre as part of the 2002 Transformations season of new work; and also at the National, 2003’s Scenes from the Big Picture. The last, an epic piece for a 21-strong ensemble, won McCafferty a hat trick of the UK’s top playwriting awards – the John Whiting, Evening Standard Charles Wintour and Meyer-Whitworth Awards – marking the first time that any dramatist won all three in a single year.

Originally written in 1997 for the Druid Lane Theatre in Galway, Shoot the Crow had an acclaimed 2003 season at Royal Exchange Theatre Studio in Manchester, where it went on to win a Manchester Evening News Award for Best Fringe Production. McCafferty’s other plays include The Chairs and Mojo Mickybo.

- by Terri Paddock