OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 12 November 2007 (previews from 8 November), Free Outgoing, which runs until 24 November, continues this year’s International Playwrights season in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. Written by Indian playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar, the play centres on Deepa, a well-behaved girl who sparks a nationwide moral outrage when a video clip of her with a boy in her class is posted online. Indhu Rubasingham directs a cast that includes Lolita Chakrabarti and Shelley King.
OPENING TUESDAY, 13 November 2007 (previews from 9 November), African-American Tarell Alvin McCraney’s debut play The Brothers Size receives its European premiere at the Young Vic in a run to 8 December (See News, 23 May 2007). Transplanting a Yoruba myth into the soil of Louisiana, the play tells the story of two brothers - Ogun owns an auto-repair shop, Oshooshi has just left prison and is already back on the wrong track. Bijan Shebani directs the co-production with the Actors Touring Company.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 14 November 2007 (previews from 1 November), actor-playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah completes his National Theatre triptych – following Fix Up and the award-winning Elmina’s Kitchen - with Statement of Regret, which joins the rep in the NT Cottesloe (See News, 11 Oct 2007). Kwaku Mackenzie, founder of a black policy think tank, hits the bottle after his father’s death. When, in a vain attempt to regain influence, he publicly champions divisions within the black community, the consequences are shattering. Should black Britons have solidarity – or not? Don Warrington stars in Jeremy Herrin’s premier production.
OPENING THURSDAY, 15 November 2007 (previews from 16 October), Desperately Seeking Susan, the new musical based on the 1985 film and set to the songs of Blondie, premieres at the West End’s Novello Theatre (See Photos, 11 Jul 2007). The story centres on bored New Jersey housewife Roberta Glass who spots a personal ad entitled “Desperately Seeking Susan” and heads off to Manhattan in search of the exciting, street-smart Susan and her boyfriend Jay. Amnesia, a collision of identities and a clash with the mob ensure a wild ride.
Kelly Price and Emma Williams star as Roberta and Susan, the parts created on screen by Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, in a cast that also features Mark McGee (as Jay), Jonathan Wrather, Alec Newman and Leanne Best. The musical has a book by American Peter Michael Marino and is directed by Angus Jackson.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 13 November), actress Lynda Baron (seen in the West End earlier this year with Orlando Bloom in David Storey’s In Celebration) directs the world premiere of JB Miller’s new play The Dorchester at the fringe Jermyn Street Theatre for a run to 8 December. It’s 30 September 1940 at the Dorchester Hotel in London... and the Germans have just invaded England. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor have been brought to the city to be set up as puppet monarchs by Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister, but will they agree to the terms? Noel Coward is a secret agent - but working for which side? And why is the stuttering King George VI disguised as a bellhop?
- by Terri Paddock