As things continue to gather pace in Edinburgh in August, they slow down markedly in London. Nevertheless, the major openings in the capital this week include:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 14 August 2006 (previews from 10 August 2006), John Buchan’s whodunit The 39 Steps receives its London stage premiere at the Tricycle Theatre, where it runs to 9 September 2006 ahead of an anticipated West End transfer (See News, 5 May 2006). The spy thriller revolves around Richard Hannay, a Canadian visitor to 1930s London. After a woman he meets is murdered, Hannay goes on the run in an attempt to break the spy ring and prove his innocence.

The story was memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 and has been newly adapted for the stage, with a comic twist, by Patrick Barlow (of the National Theatre of Brent). Just four actors create 150 characters between them, recreating the thrill of the chase. The 39 Steps was originally staged at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse last June in a production directed by Fiona Buffini. This new production, directed by Maria Aitken, stars Catherine McCormack, Charles Edwards, Rupert Degas and Simon Gregor.

** DON’T MISS the chance to take a friend for free to The 39 Steps with two-for-one on all tickets – offer ends 17 August 2006 - click here for more details! **

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 16 August 2006 (previews from 10 August), at the West End’s Haymarket Theatre Royal following extensive regional touring, classic musical comedy Seven Brides for Seven Brothers arrives for a West End season to 25 November 2006 (See News, 13 Apr 2006).

In Oregon circa 1850, Adam goes to town to get a wife. Having convinced Milly to marry him, he brings her back to his backwoods cabin, where she discovers he has six live-in younger brothers who are anxious to get wives of their own. The stage version of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is based on the 1954 Oscar-winning MGM musical, which starred Howard Keel as Adam and Jane Powell as Milly, the parts taken on stage now by Dave Willetts} and [Shona Lindsay.

** DON’T MISS the chance to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with £10 off the top three ticket prices – offer ends 15 August 2006 - click here for more details! **

- by Caroline Ansdell