Amongst the major openings in London - in the West End and further afield - this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 14 December 2009, Griff Rhys Jones takes over from Omid Djalili as Fagin in Oliver!, with Jodie Prenger continuing as Nancy (See News, 15 Sep 2009), at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

ALSO TONIGHT, artistic director Stephen Unwin helms a new production of children’s adventure classic Treasure Island at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, where it continues to 9 January 2010.


OPENING TUESDAY, 15 December 2009 (preview 14 December), Agatha Christie’s little known play-turned-novel A Daughter's a Daughter, originally penned  under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, receives its first full-scale production since 1954, opening at Trafalgar Studios 1 with Jenny Seagrove and Honeysuckle Weeks (See News, 20 Nov 2009). Until 9 January 2010.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 9 December), Simon Callow performs a double bill of one-man plays by Charles Dickens, Dr Marigold and Mr Chops, directed by Patrick Garland at Riverside Studios. Until 31 January 2010.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 16 December 2009 (previews from 11 December), Katie Mitchell adapts Dr Seuss’ popular children's story The Cat in the Hat for young children at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre, where it continues to 18 January 2010 (suitable for three- to six-year-olds).

ALSO WEDNESDAY (previews from 10 December), Patrick Hamilton’s classic thriller Rope is revived at the Almeida Theatre, directed by Roger Michell with a cast led by Bertie Carvel, Blake Ritson and Alex Waldmann (See News, 20 Oct 2009). Until 6 February 2010.


OPENING THURSDAY, 17 December 2009 (previews from 5 December), the Comedy Theatre hosts Keira Knightley's stage debut, as she stars opposite Damian Lewis in Martin Crimp’s modern-day version of Moliere’s comedy The Misanthrope, directed by Thea Sharrock (See News, 9 Oct 2009) and booking until 13 March 2010.

Crimp’s version is set in modern-day London, where Alceste (Lewis) is a famous British playwright disillusioned and angry with the hypocrisy, shallowness and vanity of the contemporary world. Vowing to reject society, Alceste’s plans are derailed when he falls madly in love with Jennifer (Knightley), an ambitious American film star and darling of the social scene, who may prove to be his biggest challenge yet.