Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 17 September 2007 (previews from 12 September), Out of Joint presents the world premiere of David Watson’s new play Flight Path at west London’s Bush Theatre (See News, 6 Jul 2007). Jonathan’s a bright boy with a great future and people expect things of him. Especially now that his Dad’s walked out, Mum's got her career, and Danny, his brother with Down’s Syndrome, needs looking after. But his best friend needs him too. They’re partners in crime and, anyway, it’s hard work burgling houses all on your own. The limited season continues until 6 October. Naomi Jones directs.


OPENING TUESDAY, 18 September 2007 (previews from 13 September), German playwright Marius von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One receives its UK premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, launching this year’s International Playwrights season. Lette thought he was normal. When the extent of his ugliness is revealed he turns to a plastic surgeon for help. But after the bandages come off, Lette soon learns that there is such a thing as too beautiful. Translated by Maja Zade and directed by Ramin Gray, the play stars Amanda Drew and Michael Gould (See News, 6 Aug 2007). It runs until 13 October 2007.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, the Nottingham Playhouse production of Sophocles’ The Burial at Thebes transfers to the Barbican Theatre, where its run to 29 September has already sold out. Lucy Pitman-Wallace directs a cast led by Paul Bentall (as Creon) and Abby Ford.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Lydia Parker and Maureen Oakeley’s All I Need Is a Fuck Buddy opens at the fringe Canal Café theatre for a run to 6 October 2007. Single Sadie's overly romantic Good Side and oversexed Bad Side come alive to play havoc with her love life. Sadie’s therapist says she needs a 'sex buddy', but is Mr Right right in front of her?


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 19 September 2007, Tony! The Blair Musical (pictured) arrives at the Pleasance Theatre for a handful of dates to 22 September following its high-profile premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Chris Bushy and Ian McCluskey’s satirical musical comedy chronicles ten years of New Labour rule. The company says it’s “quietly confident” that the former Prime Minister himself will pay a visit to see the show...

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Bill Hicks - Slight Return comes to the Arts Theatre for a run to 29 September. In the true story of one man’s attempt to change the world through stand-up comedy, author Chas Early is the late comedian. The one-man play returns to the West End for a final time after sell-out seasons at the Edinburgh Festival and around the UK.


OPENING THURSDAY, 20 September 2007 (previews from 19 September), Soho Theatre presents its first-ever site-specific walkabout production, Moonwalking in Chinatown, written by Justin Young (See New, 28 Mar 2007). In this illuminating performance, professional theatre makers and local residents portray three generations of Chinese Londoners whose lives intersect one unforgettable night in the heart of Soho. It continues until 29 September.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 15 September), legendary director Peter Brook presents Fragments, a collection of five lesser-known short plays by Samuel Beckett, at the Young Vic until 6 October (See News, 23 May 2007). Rockaby, Rough for Theatre I, Act Without Words II, Come and Go and Neither are performed by Marcello Magni, Kathryn Hunter and Jozef Houben in stripped-back stagings. Based in Paris since 1971, Brook has previously brought his Theatre des Bouffes du Nord productions including Le Costume and La Tragedie d’Hamlet to the Young Vic. Following London, Fragments visits Southampton and Warwick.


OPENING SUNDAY, 23 September 2007, the one-off event Laurence Olivier - A Celebratory Performance in the National Theatre’s Olivier Theatre marks the centenary of the great actor’s birth (See News, 18 May 2007). A sculpture of Olivier will be unveiled outside the National at 4.30pm prior to this star-studded celebration of his stage and film work. Olivier’s former wife Joan Plowright will join Derek Jacobi, Eileen Atkins, Claire Bloom, Anna Carteret, Charles Kay, Clive Merrison, Edward Petherbridge, Ronald Pickup, Billie Whitelaw and others in honouring the National’s founding director in a showcase of film clips, stage extracts and reminiscent readings recalling Olivier’s contribution to 20th-century performance.

- by Tom Atkins & Terri Paddock