OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 4 October 2004 (previews from 30 September), is Don Juan, Neil Bartlett’s swansong production after ten years as artistic director of west London’s Lyric Hammermsith (See News, 26 Aug 2004). James Wilby plays the title role in this new translation of Moliere’s 1665 black comedy about a man who has lived only for pleasure and must now face the consequences. Bartlett has adapted, directed and designed the production, which continues until 30 October.
ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 30 September), Oxford Stage Company artistic director Dominic Dromgoole revives Irish playwright Sean O'Casey’s 1923 play The Shadow of a Gunman at north London’s Tricycle Theatre, where it runs until 6 November 2004. Set in a 1920s Dublin tenement, the play was the first in O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy, which also included Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars.
OPENING TUESDAY, 5 October 2004 (previews from 20 September), Brighton Rock premieres at north London’s Almeida Theatre (See News, 25 Jun 2004). The new musical stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s literary classic about gang warfare at the English seaside town has a book by Giles Havergal, music by John Barry and lyrics by Don Black. Our House’s Michael Jibson stars as hardman Pinkie, the part famously played in the 1947 film version by Richard Attenborough, father of Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough who is directing this first musical in the theatre’s history. The cast also features Sophia Ragavelas as Rose and Harriet Thorpe as Ida Arnold.
ALSO TONIGHT (preview 4 October), the Australian adult cabaret show, Puppetry of the Penis, previously seen at the Whitehall in 2000/2001, returns to the West End featuring the original ‘genital origami creators’, David Friend and Simon Morley (See News, 2 Sep 2004). Its limited season at the Apollo Theatre continues to 23 October 2004.
OPENING THURSDAY, 7 October 2004 (previews from 24 September) – all going to current plan, that is! – is the new £2 million, salsa-inspired musical Murderous Instincts, which has become one of the most troubled productions in recent West End history. After a pre-London run in Norwich, two weeks of cancelled previews, myriad sackings, exceedingly public squabbles and trouble with the Home Office, the show is currently being helmed by unnamed ‘artistic advisors’ (See The Goss, 4 Oct 2004). Author Cinda Fox, whose husband Manny produces, has based the story on her own family, heirs to the Firestone Tyre fortune. In it, the grown children of a rum tycoon return home to fight over their inheritances. Nichola McAuliffe and Kevin Colson star.
- by Terri Paddock