OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 17 November 2003 (previews from 11 November), Pulitzer Prize-winning American Terrence McNally's opera-inspired 1985 play The Lisbon Traviata at last receives its British premiere at north London's King's Head Theatre, where it continues to 21 December. Olivier winner David Bamber plays an opera buff who begs his blocked playwright friend to borrow his pirated recording of diva Maria Callas singing La Traviata at a performance in Lisbon, Portugal. Directed by Stephen Henry, the cast also features Marcus D'Amico, London Burning's Tristan Gemmill and newcomer Matthew Thrift (See News, 2 Oct 2003).
OPENING TUESDAY, 18 November 2003 (previews from 12 November), Peter Hall's revival of Happy Days comes to the West End's Arts Theatre, following a week at Bath's Theatre Royal (See News, 22 Jul 2003). In Samuel Beckett's 1961 stage classic, a virtual monologue, Felicity Kendal plays the part of sand-buried optimist Winnie, previously famouly played by the likes of Billie Whitelaw, Peggy Ashcroft, Madeleine Renaud and Irene Worth. The production is booking for a limited 14 weeks.
OPENING THURSDAY, 20 November 2003 (previews 14 November), David Leveaux's acclaimed National Theatre production of Tom Stoppard's 1972 philosophical farce about moral philosophy and the moon landing, Jumpers, moves to the West End's Piccadilly Theatre, where it's booking to 6 March 2004, ahead of an anticipated Broadway transfer. Simon Russell Beale stars as the deep-thinking George Moore, with Essie Davis as his fading singing star wife. Nicky Henson replaces Jonathan Hyde as fellow academic Archie.
- by Terri Paddock