Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield - this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 3 August 2009 (previews from 29 July), the Bush Theatre’s latest collective writing exercise,, inspired by audience stories of embarrassment, starts its London run, having premiered at last month's Latitude Festival in Suffolk (See Our Latitude Blog).

The show comprises a series of sketches written by Zawe Ashton, James Graham, Joel Horwood, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Michelle Terry, based on real-life stories of embarrassment, and runs until 15 August 2009.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 5 August 2009 (previews from 2 August), Shakespeare’s Globe presents its first major Greek drama, Euripides’ lesser-known Helen, in a new version by Frank McGuinness, starring Penny Downie and Mark McGann (See News, 19 Nov 2008). Deborah Bruce directs, and it continues until 23 August 2009.

OPENING THURSDAY, 6 August 2009 (previews from 4 August), Pornography, Simon Stephens’ play set over one notorious week in July 2005, gets its long-awaited London premiere at the Tricycle Theatre (See News, 24 Jun 2009).

Through six snapshots into the lives of a collection of people who detail their experiences as the week progresses, Pornography charts the nation’s journey as it crashes from the euphoria and promise of the 2012 Olympics announcement into the devastation of the terrorist bombings the very next day. Until 29 August.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 4 August), the Finborough Theatre gives Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical State Fair its long-overdue European premiere, directed by Thom Sutherland. Set against the colourful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, State Fair travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the 1946 annual Iowa State Fair. It continues to 29 August.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 4 August), the Leicester Square Theatre hosts The London Folies, a '21st Century variety burlesque' celebration of the capital, showcasing acts including "the world's fastsest tap dancer" James Devine and Ivy Paige, "London's Scarlet Cockney Temptress". It continues until 28 August.

OPENING FRIDAY, 7 August 2009, the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, starts today, continuing until 31 August in the Scottish capital and involving an estimated 18,901 performers from over 60 countries presenting 34,265 performances of those shows in 265 venues!

Visit our Edinburgh microsite for extensive coverage, including blogs, interviews, news and reviews from the festival frontline.