Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 24 September 2007 (previews from 14 September) at the Donmar Warehouse, Rob Ashford directs and choreographs the London premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Parade, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Alfred Uhry. The cast is headlined by Bertie Carvel and Lara Pulver, who play husband and wife Leo and Lucille Frank (See News, 24 Jul 2007). Based on the true story of Leo Frank convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, Parade recalls the press frenzy and public hate surrounding the trial, and Lucille Frank’s crusade for justice for her husband. Its limited season continues until 24 November 2007.

OPENING TUESDAY, 25 September 2007 (previews from 20 September), Caroline Quentin returns to the London stage for the first time in nearly a decade to play Christine Hamilton in Life After Scandal, the new verbatim drama by Robin Soans (Talking to Terrorists, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook) which runs at Hampstead Theatre until 20 October (See News, 6 Aug 2007). The piece, directed by Hampstead artistic director Anthony Clark, is based on interviews with scorned politicians and others caught up in media scandals, including Neil and Christine Hamilton, Jonathan Aitken and Major Charles Ingram.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 20 September), Jatinder Verma directs The Tempest at Tara Arts Studio, with designs by Claudia Mayer. The three-week run to 14 October precedes a national tour which will see the production go to Canterbury and then Inverness this year with more dates planned for 2008. An act of terror, a treacherous brother, a tormented slave, an innocent daughter. Shakespeare’s powerful last play is a miraculous story of confinement and freedom.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 26 September 2007 (previews from 21 September), Award winner Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood lead the cast of Rupert Goold’s Chichester Festival production of Macbeth which transfers to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre (See News, 20 Jul 2007). The production runs for a limited ten-week season to 1 December ahead of another Chichester offering, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Macbeth will mark Stewart’s third Shakespeare play in the West End this year.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 19 September), Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham’s 2006 Off-Broadway musical I Love You Because receives its UK premiere at the fringe Landor Theatre, where it continues until 20 October (See News, 14 Aug 2007). The “modern-day musical love story” centres on two New York brothers and the girls they fall in love with. Any Dream Will Do finalist Daniel Boys and Richard Frame star, Robert WcWhir directs.

OPENING THURSDAY, 27 September 2007 (previews from 21 September), Martin Crimp’s new version of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros opens at the Royal Court, directed by artistic director Dominic Cooke. From 6 November (previews from 1 November), the production runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs in repertory with Max Frisch’s The Arsonists, featuring the same cast. Benedict Cumberbatch headlines the company which also features Jasper Britton, Paul Chahidi and Lloyd Hutchinson (See News, 2 Jul 2007).

** Don’t miss our the chance to Rhinoceros for just £20 (usually £25)! – offer ends 29 September 2007 - click here for more information! **

ALSO ON THURSDAY (preview 26 September), Richard III opens at Southwark Playhouse, now situated in new premises under London Bridge (See News, 7 Aug 2007). The cast is led by RSC veteran John Lightbody as Richard. The production continues until 20 October 2007.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 25 September), William Mastrosimone’s Cat's-Paw opens a north London’s King’s Head Theatre for a run to 4 November. The play follows a group of eco-warriors who seek to ‘shock and awe’ the world into stopping the polluters of the Earth’s fresh water supply, while colluding with the global business of news reportage to get their message heard. Noah Lee Margetts directs and also stars.

OPENING FRIDAY, 28 September 2007 (previews from 25 September), Headlong Theatre’s production of Rough Crossings, adapted by Caryl Phillips from Simon Schama’s 2005 non-fiction bestseller, sub-titled Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution. It’s the second production of the week (after Macbeth on Wednesday) directed by Rupert Goold, artistic director of Headlong. Following London, Rough Crossings tours to Liverpool and Leeds. The cast is headlined by Ed Hughes and Patrick Robinson (See News, 21 Aug 2007).

** Don’t miss the chance to see Rough Crossings & another show at Lyric Hammersmith for just £20! – offer ends 13 October 2007– click here for more information! **

- by Tom Atkins