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

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 19 October 2009, Live Theatre’s award-winning production of Steve Gilroy’s Motherland, a hit at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe, transfers to the Tristan Bates Theatre for three weeks to 7 November. The play recounts the true stories of women whose lives have been touched by the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gilroy directs the all-female cast.


OPENING TUESDAY, 20 October 2009 (previews from 8 October), X Factor finalist Diana Vickers makes her stage acting debut playing the title role in the first major revival of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which runs until 30 January 2010 at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre (See News, 9 Jul 2009). Lesley Sharp and Marc Warren co-star in Terry Johnson’s production, which features a new song specially written for it by Take That’s Mark Owen (See News, 16 Oct 2009).

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 14 October), before joining Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis in The Misanthrope in the West End (See News, 9 Oct 2009), Dominic Rowan stars in Thomas Kyd’s Elizabethan classic The Spanish Tragedy, running in the fringe Arcola Theatre until 14 November.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Silence!, Jon and Al Kaplan hit 2005 Off-Broadway musical parody of the The Silence of the Lambs, starts a two-week run at Baron's Court theatre, before moving to Victoria's Above the Stag from 21 January (previews from 19 January) to 28 February 2010, in a production helmed by original New York director Chrisopher Gatelli (See News, 8 Sep 2009). Musical numbers include “In the Dark With a Maniac”, “Are You About a Size 14?” and “I'd F**k Me”.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 22 October (previews from 20 October), another Off-Broadway horror spoof musical, Zombie Prom, receives its UK premiere at the fringe Landor Theatre, where it runs until 14 November (See News, 8 Sep 2009). Featuring music by Dana P Rowe and lyrics by John Dempsey (the team behind The Witches of Eastwick and The Fix) and directed by Ian McFarlane, it's adapted from a story by Dempsey and Hugh M Murray about a sweet teenage girl whose rebel boyfriend commits suicide in a nuclear cooling tower and returns as a 'teenage nuclear zombie'.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 17 October), Rafe Spall stars in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, the new play by Nick Payne, who won the 2009 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, at west London's Bush Theatre (See News, 14 Sep 2009). He plays the dosser uncle of a fat girl who’s suspended from school after hitting back at bullies. Bush artistic director Josie Rourke directs the four-hander, which also features Michael Begley, Pandora Colin and Ailish O'Connor and runs until 21 November.