OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 10 October 2005 (previews from 1 October) Jerry Hall makes her musical debut in Cole Porter’s High Society at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre (See News, 2 Sep 2005). The production was first seen – without Hall – at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park two summers ago, staged by the venue’s artistic director Ian Talbot and has toured extensively since then. The cast also includes Katherine Kingsley, Graham Bickley, Paul Robinson and Ria Jones.
ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 6 October), Arnold Wesker’s latest play Longitude receives its world premiere at Greenwich Theatre. It’s based on Dava Sobel’s best-selling book about John Harrison, who invented an accurate nautical clock to measure longitude at sea. The production is directed by Fiona Laird and runs to 29 October 2005.
OPENING TUESDAY, 11 October 2005 (previews from 28 September), Cold Feet star James Nesbitt (pictured) stars in Owen McCafferty’s Shoot the Crow at the Trafalgar Studios (see News 10 Aug 2005). The cast also includes double Olivier Award winner Conleth Hill (fresh from his run in The Producers) and Jim Norton. On a Belfast building site, four tilers are on the make. Robert Delamere directs the production, which continues its limited season to 10 December 2005.
ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 7 October), football hooliganism and financial exploitation are explored in Gregory Burke’s latest play, On Tour, which opens at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs for a limited season to 22 October 2005 before transferring to Liverpool (See News, 1 Aug 2005). Burke’s previous plays include The Straits and the multi award-winning Gagarin Way.
ALSO ON TUESDAY Nicholas Parsons, who has hosted BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute for 38 years, stars in How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear, a play about the nonsensical genius of zoologist, landscape artist, cartoonist and writer Edward Lear. It opens at Hampstead’s New End Theatre for a run to 21 October.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 12 October 2005, Nick Cave and his long-time collaborator Warren Ellis provide the original music for a new production of Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck at the Barbican Theatre as part of the Young Genius season (See News, 17 Jun 2005). The play is directed by Gisli Orn Gardarsson whose Icelandic Romeo and Juliet transferred from the Young Vic to the West End. Woyzeck runs until 22 October 2005.
OPENING THURSDAY, 13 October 2005 (previews from 11 October), David Levin, former artistic director of Tel Aviv’s National Theatre, returns to the Arcola Theatre (where he previously directed Peer Gynt in 2003) to direct Through a Cloud. The play, written by actor and playwright Jack Shepherd, revolves around two revolutionaries, John Milton and Oliver Cromwell, who meet at a picnic in the woods in 1656. Its season continues until 29 October 2005.
ALSO ON THURSDAY, Unzipped 2005, a new forum for contemporary black playwriting, launches at Soho Theatre, showcasing the work of seven black, Asian and Chinese British writers. It concludes on 15 October 2005.
OPENING FRIDAY, 14 October 2005 (previews from 11 October), My Name Is Rachel Corrie, is revived at the Royal Court in the main house after a run in the Theatre Upstairs earlier this year (See News, 3 May 2005). Alan Rickman directs Megan Dodds in the title role of an American student who was killed in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer whilst protesting in Gaza. The one-woman play runs until 29 October 2005.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 12 October), Martin Freeman, star of The Office and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, returns to the stage for Blue Eyes and Heels, a new play by Toby Whithouse at Soho Theatre (See News, 19 Apr 2005). Serena Evans and John Stahl also feature in the comedy about a TV producer’s attempts to bring live wrestling back to the small screen. The limited season continues until to 5 November 2005.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 11 October) the Sound Theatre in Leicester Square premieres Zoe Lewis’ latest play, Flanders Mare, in a run to 5 November 2005 (See News, 23 Sep 2005). Keith Allen (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting) makes a rare stage appearance to play King Henry VIII in the play about art, power, politics and the invention of spin. Directed by Alan Cox, it runs to 5 November 2005.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 12 October) Simon Burt’s latest play Bottle Universe receives its world premiere at west London’s Bush Theatre (See News, 30 Jun 2005). The drama follows Burt’s two previous plays at the Bush, Untouchable in 2002 and Got to be Happy in 2003. Sue Dunderdale, head of directing at RADA, makes her Bush directing debut with this play about confused teenagers who are grappling with the worlds they know, and the adults who try to understand them.
- by Caroline Ansdell