OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 8 October 2007 (previews from 3 October), Charles Dance and Janie Dee star in the first West End revival of William Nicholson’s award-winning 1990 play Shadowlands at Wyndham’s Theatre. (See News, 21 Aug 2007). Set in Oxford in the 1950s, Shadowlands tells the true love story of CS Lewis (Dance) and Joy Gresham (Dee). Lewis remained a bachelor until his fifties, when he met Joy, secretly married her and cared for her when she became terminally ill. The production runs for a limited season until 15 December. The cast, directed by Michael Barker-Caven, also features John Standing.
OPENING TUESDAY, 9 October 2007 (previews from 27 September), Toby Stephens, Patricia Hodge, David Haig and Fiona Glascott star in The Country Wife, the launch production in the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company’s inaugural season of in-house productions under the direction of Jonathan Kent (See News, 9 Jul 2007). William Wycherley’s classic 1675 Restoration comedy revolves around notorious man-about-town Horner (Stephens) who schemes to seduce the women of London society en masse by spreading a rumour that he’s impotent. The Country Wife runs until 2 January 2008 and is directed by Kent, former joint artistic director of the Almeida Theatre, and designed by Paul Brown, with lighting by Mark Henderson.
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OPENING WEDNESDAY, 10 October 2007 (previews from 27 September), Jonathan Pryce and Aidan Gillen lead the all-male cast in James Macdonald’s 25th anniversary revival of David Mamet’s modern American classic Glengarry Glen Ross at the West End’s Apollo Theatre, where it’s booking until 12 January 2008 (See News, 3 Jul 2007). In a real estate office in Chicago, the salesmen are pitched against each other in a cut-throat competition. Close the deal and you’ve won a Cadillac; blow the lead and you’re f...ed. In a world of high stakes and hard sell, these men will do anything, legal or otherwise, to sell the most. The ensemble company also features Matthew Marsh and Paul Freeman. UPDATED, Mon 8 Oct 2007 @ 2.00pm: Following a cast member’s withdrawal, this press performance has now been postponed by two days, to Friday 12 October (See Today’s Other News).
OPENING FRIDAY, 12 October 2007 (previews from 9 October), Susannah York stars in the world premiere of Ben Ellis’ new play The Final Shot at Theatre503 in Battersea. How far should you go to put something on screen? What should you film? What shouldn’t you? A final breath. A dying wish. A living need. The production, which continues until 27 October, is directed by Theatre503 joint artistic director Tim Roseman in his first production at the venue. Tom McKay, Candida Benson, Peter Gowen and Fred Pearson complete the cast.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 10 October), Once We Were Mothers opens at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre, for a run to 10 November 2007. Three very different mothers face three very different situations. Ali is a ballet dancer until she gives birth to Flora. Milena struggles to survive with her children in a country torn by war. Kitty is a housewife who had two daughters, now it seems she only has one. Ellie Jones directs.
- by Tom Atkins