Las Vegas is coming to London. The infamous Kings of Cool will follow the Dames of Drama into the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket in the new year. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith - who are due to add another four weeks (up to 1 March 2003) to their limited season of The Breath of Life ahead of an anticipated Broadway transfer - will be followed by a six-week run, from 11 March 2003, of The Rat Pack, a concert-style tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

The Rat Pack relives the Las Vegas glory days of the hippest cats of the 1950s and 60s. The all-singing, all-dancing, all-wisecracking lounge legends partied with presidents and mixed martinis with mobsters at the chic Vegas nightspot, The Sands Hotel.

Set on a night at The Sands in 1960, a trio of look and sound-alikes (currently played by Stephen Triffit as Sinatra, Mark Adams as Martin and George Long as Davis Jr) perform a parade of cool classics like "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Witchcraft", "That's Amore", "That Old Black Magic", "My Way" and "The Lady is a Tramp" to the accompaniment of a live 15-piece Big Band and a full supporting cast.

The Rat Pack has been touring the country since 2000. In London, it's previously had one-off dates at the London Palladium and a limited run at Sadler's Wells. Before making its West End debut in March, the show continues its extensive regional schedule in 2003, visiting Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Dundee, Sunderland, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Eastbourne, Yeovil, Bradford, Birmingham, Oxford, Reading, Grimsby, King's Lynn, Ipswich, Swindon, Preston, Belfast, Cork and Limerick.

Come the summer, The Rat Pack will be succeeded at the Theatre Royal Haymarket by a 14-week season of the RSC production of Ibsen's Brand. Starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by outgoing RSC artistic director Adrian Noble, it runs from 4 June to 30 August 2003 (previews from 29 May).

- by Terri Paddock