Two upcoming premiere productions – screen-to-stage musical Desperately Seeking Susan and children’s book adaptation War Horse - have announced short delays to the start of their preview performances.

At the West End’s Novello Theatre (See Photos, 11 Jul 2007), where Desperately Seeking Susan has an extended and staggered preview period from next month, producers have cancelled the first two performances on 12 and 13 October 2007 “due to the technical requirements of the show”. Previews will commence from 16 October, when an extra performance has been added. The press performance will go ahead, as scheduled, on 15 November 2007.

Desperately Seeking Susan centres on bored suburban New Jersey housewife Roberta Glass who spots a personal ad entitled “Desperately Seeking Susan” and heads off to Manhattan in search of the exciting, street-smart Susan and her freewheeling boyfriend Jay. Things get complicated when, after buying Susan’s jacket, Roberta is knocked unconscious. Awaking with amnesia, she assumes she is Susan, who’s also being desperately sought by the mob. The collision of their identities takes both women on a wild ride …

Kelly Price and Emma Williams star as Roberta and Susan, the parts played in the 1985 MGM film by Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, in a cast that also features Mark McGee (as Jay), Jonathan Wrather (Gary), Alec Newman (Des) and Leanne Best (Leslie).

Desperately Seeking Susan is directed by Angus Jackson and choreographed by American Andy Blankenbuehler (who’s just won a string of awards for the Off-Broadway hit In the Heights), with set and costumes by Tim Hatley, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Hugh Vanstone. The musical is presented in the West End by Susan Gallin, Ron Kastner, Mark Rubinstein and Old Vic Productions.

** Don’t miss our Whatsonstage.com Outing to DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN on 24 October - including a FREE programme, EXCLUSIVE post-show cast reception & FREE souvenir badge sets for early bookers! – all for just £34.50!!! – click here to book now! **


At the National Theatre (See News, 12 Jul 2007), the first preview of Nick Stafford’s stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel War Horse has been moved back by one day from 8 to 9 October 2007 in the NT Olivier, where it will run in rep over Christmas. Again, the press night will go ahead, as scheduled, on 17 October.

In War Horse, young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. He's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. However, Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, the boy embarks on a treacherous mission to find the horse and bring him home.

Suitable for over 12s, War Horse is brought to life using puppets created by Adrian Kohler and South African puppet company Handspring. The production is directed by Marianne Elliott and designed by Rae Smith.

- by Terri Paddock