OPENING MONDAY, 8 September 2008 (previews from 4 September), Anthony Clark directs the UK premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s last, and rarely performed play Turandot, at north London’s Hampstead theatre (See News, 26 Jun 2008). The play, which examines the corrupt regime of a Chinese Emperor, is translated by Edward Kemp and runs until 4 October.
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OPENING TUESDAY, 9 September 2008 (previews from 4 September), interactive Eurovision spoof musical Eurobeat – Winning is Everything opens at the West End’s Novello Theatre following an extensive tour and success at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe (See News, 13 May 2008). Starring Les Dennis and Mel Giedroyc as flamboyant hosts Sergei and Boyka, it promises no end of cheering, flag-waving and clapper-clacking as ten countries compete for audience votes.
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ALSO ON TUESDAY, Catherine McCormack and Finbar Lynch star in Sir Peter Hall’s Theatre Royal Bath production of Ibsen’s A Doll\'s House transfers to the Rose Theatre, Kingston, where Hall served as founding artistic director (See News, 2 Jul 2008). It runs until 27 September 2008.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, (previews from 3 September), Karen Malpede’s anti-war play Prophecy receives its world premiere at the New End Theatre, in a limited season until 5 October 2008.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 10 September 2008 (previews from 5 September), the National Theatre’s multi award-winning stage adaptation of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, returns to the NT Olivier, where, later this month, it will become the first NT production offering regular Sunday performances (See News, 22 May 2008). It runs in rep until 24 December 2008.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, (previews from 5 September), Stephen Rea stars in the UK premiere of Sam Shepard’s new play Kicking a Dead Horse at north London’s Almeida Theatre. Rea plays a wealthy Manhattan art dealer who journeys to the modern-day Wild West in search of meaning and authenticity (See News, 19 May 2008). It kicks off the Almeida’s autumn season and runs for a strictly limited period until 20 September.
OPENING THURSDAY, 11 September 2008 (previews from 3 September), Eddie Redmayne (pictured) and Matthew Marsh head the cast in the world premiere of Christopher Shinn’s tense and timely US presidential election drama Now or Later at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 24 Jul 2008). Directed by artistic director Dominic Cooke, it runs until 18 October. The cast also features Domhnall Gleeson, Nancy Crane and Adam James.
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ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 8 September), the National Theatre of Scotland returns to west London’s Lyric Hammersmith with the London premiere of 365, written by David Harrower and directed by NTS artistic director Vicky Featherstone. The play, about teenagers in Scotland living in ‘practice flats’ prior to release from care, premiered at last month’s Edinburgh International Festival (See News, 24 Apr 2008). It runs in London until 27 September 2008.
OPENING FRIDAY, 12 September 2008 (previews from 10 September), Bill Bryden directs Tennessee Williams’ self-referential play Small Craft Warnings at the Arcola Theatre, running until 18 October 2008.
OPENING SATURDAY, 13 September 2008, Clare Higgins and Simon Russell Beale perform Harold Pinter’s Landcape and A Slight Ache at the National Theatre, for eight performances only in the NT Lyttelton (See News, 8 Jul 2008).
ON SUNDAY, 14 September 2008, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday in the Park, a one-off concert celebrating the composer’s 60th birthday, takes place in Hyde Park (See News, 15 Aug 2008). The star-studded line-up includes West End stars Lee Mead, Elaine Paige, Idina Menzel, Steve Balsamo and Duncan James (formerly of Blue), along with X-Factor’s Rhydian Jones, Joss Stone, teen soprano Hayley Westenra, the composer’s brother, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and, newly confirmed, Andrew Johnston, the 13-year-old chorister who secured a recording contract after reaching the final of Britain\'s Got Talent.
- by Theo Bosanquet