Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 17 November 2008 (previews from 7 November) Keith Allen stars as Long John Silver in Ken Ludwig’s new stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (See News, 4 Sep 2008). The classic tale of piratical heroism and skulduggery is directed by Sean Holmes and designed by Shunt’s Lizzie Clachan with music by Tom Haines and Ross Hughes, performed by a live band on stage. It runs until 28 February 2009

** DON’T MISS Our pirate-themed Whatsonstage.com Outing to Treasure Island on 9 December 2008 – including a FREE drink & post-show cast reception for just £27.50 - click here for more info **

ALSO ON MONDAY, Maggie Steed, Colin Baker, Ben Hull and Jonathan Coy star in Michael Frayn’s acclaimed backstage comedy Noises Off at the New Wimbledon Theatre, running until 22 November as part of a UK tour.


OPENING TUESDAY, 18 November 2008 (previews from 10 November), Bill Bailey’s latest stand-up show Tinselworm gets a West End showing at the Gielgud Theatre (See News, 6 Oct 2008). It’s been a busy year for Bailey, who recently gave up his regular spot on the BBC’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks to focus on other projects. Until 24 January 2009.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 12 November), the RSC presents the world premiere of Adriano Shaplin’s history play The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes at Wilton’s Music Hall, directed by Elizabeth Freestone and with a cast drawn from the ensemble of actors who performed at Stratford-upon-Avon this summer. Until 6 December.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, (previews from 17 November), Sheffield-based Third Angel return to the Southwark Playhouse with Presumption, a deconstruction of an archetypal thirty-something relationship performed by Chris Thorpe and Lucy Ellinson, running until 6 December.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 19 November 2008, new musical Imagine This receives its world premiere at the New London Theatre, starring Peter Polycarpou, Leila Benn Harris, Simon Gleeson and Bernard Lloyd, directed by Timothy Sheader (See News, 1 Jul 2008).

Premiered last summer at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, the musical revolves around a group of Polish actors in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 who stage plays to inspire hope and optimism within the Jewish community. However, with rumours of the Final Solution in the air, their play merges with the reality they are trying to escape and a dramatic love story unfolds. It’s currently booking through to 28 February 2009.


OPENING THURSDAY, 20 November 2008 (previews from 17 November), stellar stand-up Eddie Izzard’s new show Stripped arrives at the Lyric Theatre, following a critically acclaimed US tour across 34 cities, including three sell-out dates over the summer at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Until 12 December.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 18 November), David Boyle stars as the late Anthony Newley in Newley - the Fool Who Dared to Dream Upstairs at the Gatehouse theatre for a limited run to 30 November.


OPENING FRIDAY, (previews from 18 November), Tombstone Tales and Boothill Ballads, written and directed by Carl Heap, premieres at the Arcola Theatre, a “docu-cabaret” set in the Arizona deserts featuring strange but true stories unearthed from the most famous bone-yard of the Wild West. Until 20 December.

- by Theo Bosanquet