As the London schedule revs up again after last month’s Edinburgh festival and the general summer slowdown, among the major shows opening in the capital this week are:

OPENING MONDAY, 5 September 2005 (previews from 30 August), Islington’s King’s Head hosts a new production of Jean Paul Sartre’s Huis Clos or No Way Out, for a limited season to 25 September (See News, 12 Aug 2005). Written in 1943, the black comedy is set in a vaudevillian underworld where Garcin, Inez and Estelle are trapped for eternity as penance for their corrupt lives – a tortuous situation from which the saying “hell is other people” was coined. Drew Ackroyd directs.

OPENING TUESDAY, 6 September 2005 (previews from 18 August), Hollywood star Rob Lowe makes his West End debut in the London premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s 1989 Broadway play A Few Good Men, reuniting the actor with the author of TV’s The West Wing (See News, 25 Apr 2005). Broadway director David Esbjornson directs a cast that also includes John Barrowman, Suranne Jones and Jack Ellis. The play centres on a military court case in which Marines, stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are accused of murdering their peer but claim in defence that they were only acting under orders. The stage play was made into a 1992 film starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson.

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OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 September 2005 (previews from 2 September), David Farr launches his regime as artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith by re-staging his Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar with a cast that includes Zubin Varla as Brutus and Gary Oliver as Mark Antony (See News, 2 Sep 2005). The season continues until 15 October 2005.

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ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Do I Hear a Waltz?, the only collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, gets a rare production at south London’s Landor Theatre for a run to 1 October 2005. Set in Venice, the musical tells the story of a young American woman who falls in love with a much older Venetian shopkeeper.

OPENING THURSDAY, 8 September 2005 (previews from 2 September), Richard Bean latest play Harvest receives its world premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 1 Aug 2005). The epic comedy spans 91 years, as a wealthy landowner loses a bet to his gardeners, who then becomes lord of the manor. The cast includes Sian Brooke, Matthew Dunster, Gareth Farr and Jane Hazlegrove. Directed by Wilson Milam, the production continues until 1 October 2005.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, west London’s Riverside Studios hosts the Edinburgh Fringe transfer with Glyn Maxwell’s The Lifeblood for a run to 1 October 2005. The play, directed by Guy Retallack, deals with the last days of the life of Mary Stuart.

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OPENING FRIDAY, 9 September 2005 (previews from 6 September), another Edinburgh transfer, Fringe First winner Switch Triptych, opens at Soho Theatre for a season to 8 October 2005 (See News, 12 Aug 2005). Award-winning troupe the Riot Group present political poetry by Adriano Shaplin, set in a New York telephone exchange in 1919.

** DON’T MISS the chance to catch Switch Triptych for just £10! – offer ends 8 October 2005 - click here for details! **

OPENING SATURDAY, 10 September 2005 (previews from 2 September), a puppet version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, Fantastic Mr Fox, is presented by Islington’s Little Angel Theatre until 13 November 2005.

- by Caroline Ansdell