David Burt, Jack Chissick, Hadley Fraser and Kathryn Evans (pictured) will join Anthony Head this Christmas at the West End's Savoy Theatre. They'll appear in Peter Pan, which opens on 17 December 2003 (previews from 15 December), as well as in The Pirates of Penzance, joining it in repertory from 6 January to 20 March 2004 (See News, 1 Sep 2003).

To Head's pair of pirate villains - Captain Hook in Peter Pan and The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance - Burt plays, respectively, Mr Darling/Starkey and the Sergeant of Police; Chissick is Smee and General Stanley; Fraser is Curly and Fredric; and Evans plays, Mrs Darling and Ruth.

The cross-cast company also features Jack Blumenau, Katie Foster-Barnes, Elin Wyn Lewis, Bennett Andrews, Tom Ashton, Cezarah Bonner, Scott Cripps, Lorraine Chappell, Jack Dedman, Steve Elias, Kristin Hellberg, Nick Holmes, Joanna Kirkland, Roy Litvin, Graham Martin, Sam Mannox, Mark Oxtoby, Joe Prospero, Mykal Rand, Leanne Rogers, Amy Rogers and Alexander Rose. Both productions are directed by Steven Dexter and designed by Francis O'Connor, with lighting by Andrew Bridge.

They're produced by the Savoy and Raymond Gubbay, who, following the pairing of Peter Pan and The Pirates of Penzance, will launch their inaugural season of affordable year-round opera programming under the artistic direction of Steven Pimlott, David Parry and Sarah Playfair, who have previously worked together at the Leeds-based Opera North (See News, 29 Oct 2003).

Currently at the Savoy, Jonathan Church's revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, starring Matthew Kelly and George Costigan, concludes its limited season on 6 December 2003. It opened in the West End on 23 October 2003 (previews from 21 October) after an earlier regional tour.

- by Terri Paddock