Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield - this week are:

OPENING MONDAY, 5 October 2009, John Barrowman faces the critics as he takes over as Albin/Zaza in the Menier Chocolate Factory's multi award-winning revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre (See Photos, 13 Jul 2009).

ALSO ON MONDAY, musical revue Two Birds and a Bloke opens for four nights only at Wilton’s Music Hall.


OPENING TUESDAY, 6 October 2009, Edinburgh hit Yasser, the story of a Palestinian actor playing Shylock, receives its London premiere at the Arcola Theatre. Until 24 October.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Stewart Permutt’s Many Roads to Paradise opens at Jermyn Street Theatre, following a run at the Finborough last year. (NB Miriam Karlin has had to withdraw from this production due to ill health following an operation. Her role as Stella will be taken by Thelma Ruby.) Until 14 November.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 October 2009 (previews from 29 September), David Hare’s response to the banking collapse, The Power of Yes - A Dramatist Seeks to Understand the Financial Crisis, receives its premiere at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre (See News, 17 Jun 2009).

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 5 October), My Real War 1914-?, Based on a series of privately-published letters by a young officer, killed in 1916, opens at Trafalgar Studios 2. Until 31 October.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 30 September), impressionist Alistair McGowan makes his playwriting debut with Timing at the King’s Head Theatre (See News, 7 Sep 2009). Directed by Tamara Harvey, and featuring a cast including ex-EastEnders star Dean Gaffney, it continues until 8 November.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 6 October), It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First but It Is Alright Now, Lucy Kirkwood’s new play about an accidental prostitute for Clean Break theatre company, opens at the Arcola Theatre, where it continues to the end of the month.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Feral, centring on a child with Asperger’s syndrome, opens at the New Wimbledon Studio. Until 24 October.


OPENING THURSDAY, 8 October 2009, the National Youth Theatre tackles Shakespeare's Cymbeline at the Arts Theatre, running until 24 October.


OPENING FRIDAY, 9 October 2009 (previews from 7 October) Southwark Playhouse’s annual three-week Terror Festival – featuring short horror plays by Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute, Anthony Neilson and Lucy Kirkwood – reinvents Grand Guignol for the 21st century.