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Opening: Michael Ball in Hairspray, Vincent, Joe Guy

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

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 29 October 2007 (previews from 23 October), Soho Theatre presents Roy Williams’ new play Joe Guy, directed by Femi Elufowoju. Joe Boateng’s days behind the counter of a cheap burger bar are far behind him, as is his childhood sweetheart Naomi and the kids who mocked him for his Ghanaian accent. Now a premiership football star, he’s never out of the papers and everyone wants a piece of him. The production runs for a month until 24 November.

ALSO TONIGHT, Charm Offensive present You Cant Take It with You, by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman, opening at Southwark Playhouse (previews from 24 October). When daughter Alice introduces her uptight fiancé and his uptight parents to her unconventional relatives it is not long before we realise that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. Southwark Playhouse relocated to the arches under London Bridge station earlier this year (See News, 7 Aug 2007). This production runs until 17 November.


OPENING TUESDAY, 30 October 2007 (previews from 11 October), Hairspray (pictured) at the Shaftesbury Theatre with a cast headlined by Michael Ball, Mel Smith, Leanne Jones as well as Ben James-Ellis (See News, 12 Sep 2007). Based on John Waters' cult retro 1988 film and set in 1960s Baltimore, it tells the story of geeky overweight teen Tracy, who finds celebrity on a TV dance programme. Can she get the guy and still have time to change the world? The musical has a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Whitman and Shaiman.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 31 October 2007, Australia’s Back to Back Theatre presents Small Metal Objects, a site-specific performance at Stratford Station in East London, as part of the Barbican’s Osmosis07 festival. Small Metal Objects is directed by Bruce Gladwin, and tells the story of Steve and Gary, two quiet, slightly lonely men living on the fringe of society. The audience is seated on a raised platform, wearing headphones, listening to music and dialogue, whilst passers by remain oblivious to the intensely personal drama. The production runs until 10 November.


OPENING THURSDAY, 1 November 2007 (previews from 30 October), Urwintore present The Investigation by Peter Weiss at the Young Vic. Directed by Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx, Weiss’ classic and influential play is a searing drama about life and death in Auschwitz, performed by this Rwandan theatre company just thirteen years after their homeland’s own holocaust. The Investigation runs at the Young Vic until 10 November.


OPENING FRIDAY, 2 November 2007 (previews from 30 October), Vincent River by Philip Ridley receives its West End premiere at Trafalgar Studios, with Lynda Bellingham and Mark Field (See News, 12 Sep 2007). Bellingham plays a mother who’s visited by a teenager with a connection to the death of her son. Vincent River is presented by Old Vic Productions and runs until 17 November.

- by Tom Atkins


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