Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 10 September 2007, Hampstead Theatre’s second annual new writing festival Daring Pairings gets under way, featuring new work from Mark Ravenhill, Dennis Kelly, Tanika Gupta, Gary Owen and Amy Rosenthal. Ravenhill’s new epic play cycle Shoot / Get Tresure / Repeat (part one) draws on his experiences at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe where, in Ravenhill for Breakfast, he wrote a new play every day – and won a Fringe First in the process (See News, 17 Aug 2007).

Other writers will be working collaboratively to produce new work, performed by companies including Ray Panthaki, David Horovitch, Susannah Wise, Joseph Millson and Emma Cunniffe, and compered by the likes of Antony Sher, Caroline Quentin and Tracy-Ann Oberman. The festival continues until Saturday 15 September.


OPENING TUESDAY, 11 September 2007 (previews from 5 September), Complicite returns to the Barbican Theatre, where its The Elephant Vanishes had sell-out seasons in 2003 and 2004, with its new devised piece A Disappearing Number, which is conceived and directed by Complicite co-founder and artistic director Simon McBurney and features original music by pioneering composer Nitin Sawhney (See News, 26 Apr 2007). The piece takes as its starting point the story of the collaboration between 20th-century mathematicians Scrinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from southern India, and Cambridge don GH Hardy. The cast includes McBurney and Saskia Reeves.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Olwen Wymark’s play about the nature of madness, Find Me, has a run to 30 September at the fringe Etcetera Theatre in Camden.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 12 September 2007 (previews from 16 August), Bad Girls The Musical, the stage adaptation of the long-running ITV drama, breaks into the West End’s Garrick Theatre, with a cast including David Burt, Sally Dexter, Nicole Faraday and, recreating her role as Sylvia ‘Bodybag’ Hollamby from the original TV show, Helen Fraser (See News, 26 Jun 2007). The television drama, set in the fictional HMP Larkhall, ran on ITV for eight series from 1999 to 2006. The musical, written by the creators of the television series and first seen in July 2006 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, is based around some of the core characters from season one. Maggie Norris directs.

** Don’t miss our Whatsonstage.com Outing to Bad Girls The Musical – including a FREE programme & FREE drink at our post-show cast reception – click here to book now! **


OPENING THURSDAY, 13 September 2007 (previews from 7 September), Carston McCullers’ American classic The Member of the Wedding is revived by Young Vic associate director Matthew Dunster exactly 50 years on from its London premiere (See News, 20 Jul 2007). Set in small-town Georgia in 1945, the play sees 12-year-old tomboy Frankie sharing her crazy dreams with her worldy-wise maid Berenice. Desperate to join the sophisticated world of her brother and his fiancée, she schemes to leave home and become a ‘member’ of their wedding.

Flora Spencer-Longhurst makes her professional debut as Frankie, while New York theatre actress Portia (known only by her first name) plays Berenice. Portia has risen to prominence through Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman’s renowned LAByrinth Theater Company. The Member of the Wedding continues at the Young Vic until 20 October.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 11 September), direct from its success in Edinburgh where it won a Fringe First (See News, 24 Aug 2007), leading Scottish company Vanishing Point brings its new show Subway, about a young guy brought up in Leith returning home to find his dad in the year 2030, to west London’s Lyric Hammersmith Studio for a run to 29 September. It’s performed to the accompaniment of a live Kosovan band.

- by Terri Paddock