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Opening: Characters, Ivanov, Riflemind & Rain Man

By • West End
Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 15 September 2008 (previews from 10 September), Rupert Goold’s Chichester Festival production of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author starring Ian McDiarmid transfers to the Gielgud Theatre. Goold and co-adapter Ben Power have updated the 1921 Italian classic for the “media-obsessed age” of the 21st century. It runs until 8 November 2008.


OPENING TUESDAY, 16 September 2008, in celebration of the playwright’s 70th birthday, the Royal Court Upstairs presents The Caryl Churchill Readings, with ten leading playwrights directing one-off readings of their favourite Churchill play. Actors taking part include Anna Maxwell Martin, Miranda Richardson and Ben Whishaw. Until 26 September 2008.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Off-West End competition to WIN a pair of tickets to a Caryl Churchill reading, a copy of the new book About Churchill and a selection of her plays! click here for more info **


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 17 September 2008 (previews from 12 September), Kenneth Branagh heads the cast in Michael Grandage’s new production of Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov at Wyndham’s Theatre, opening the year-long Donmar West End residency (See News, 11 Sep 2008). Other highlights of the season include Twelfth Night, with Derek Jacobi as Malvolio; the UK premiere of Yukio Mishima’s little-known Japanese play Madame de Sade led by Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike, and Hamlet, with Jude Law in the title role. Ivanov runs until 29 November 2008.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to IVANOV on 7 October 2008 - including a FREE programme & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A – all for £35! – we’ve now secured EXTRA tickets for this previously sold-out event! - click here to book now! **


OPENING THURSDAY, 18 September 2008 (previews from 15 September), Philip Seymour Hoffman directs the European premiere of Riflemind, a new play by Sydney Theatre Company co-artistic director Andrew Upton at Trafalgar Studios starring John Hannah and Paul Hilton (See News, 8 Aug 2008). It’s currently booking until 3 January 2009.

** DON’T MISS our special WOS WEDNESDAY offer – club members can get £5 off top price tickets to RIFLEMIND on 19 November (normally up to £48) - click here for more info **

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 6 September), in-i premieres at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre, a dance theatre work created and performed by Juliette Binoche and Akram Khan, designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor (See News, 4 July 2008). Binoche makes her dance debut in the piece, which runs until 20 October and transfers to Leicester’s new Curve venue in the new year (See News, 2 Sep 2008).

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 16 September), Sophie Woolley performs her new one woman show Fight Face at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio, until 4 October.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, the Shaw Theatre presents Michael Feinstein and his big band in All the Way – a Salute to Frank Sinatra.


OPENING FRIDAY, 19 September 2008 (previews from 28 August), Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley star in the stage adaptation of the 1988 Oscar-winning film Rain Man at the Apollo theatre. The production was initially due to open on the 9 September, but postponed due to the departure of original director David Grindley, who was replaced by Terry Johnson (See News, 1 Sep 2008). Hartnett plays Charlie Babbitt, whose life is changed when he must take care of his elder brother Raymond (Godley), an autistic savant. Until 20 December 2008.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 16 September), up-and-coming Texan playwright David Myers presents the premiere of his new play 1800 Acres, developed with the Old Vic New Voices programme, at the Riverside Studios, where it runs until 12 October 2008.

- By Theo Bosanquet


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