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

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 6 December 2010 (previews from 27 November), the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Love Story transfers to the West End's Duchess Theatre, marking Michael Ball’s producing debut. Booking until 26 February 2011, it stars Emma Williams, Michael Xavier and Peter Polycarpou who reprise their Chichester roles.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 2 December), Carl-Einar Hackner - a "mega-star in the land of the midnight sun" - brings his magic show Big in Sweden to the Roundhouse studio theatre, running until 22 December.


OPENING TUESDAY, 7 December 2010 (previews from 25 November), the Donmar Warehouse production of King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi in the title role, opens at the venue's Covent Garden base. Directed by Michael Grandage, the cast also features Gina McKee, Justine Mitchell and Pippa Bennett-Warner as Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, and Ron Cook as the Fool. It runs until 5 February 2011 prior to a national tour.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 4 December), performance collective Living Structures present Cart Macabre in the Old Vic Tunnels. Two years in the making, the show is part theatre, part installation, a "nightmare fairground ride" exploring themes of isolation and disorientation. Until 22 December.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, The Night Before Christmas runs for 33 daytime performances at the Ambassadors, until 24 December. Aiming to teach ages two-years-and-up the true meaning of the festive holiday through songs, poems and storytelling, it runs concurrently with the Ambassadors’ main production Stomp.


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 8 December 2010 (previews from 1 December), Catherine Tate, Neil Stuke and Mark Gatiss lead an all-star ensemble in Marianne Elliott’s new production of Season’s Greetings, Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980 comedy about a calamitous family Christmas gathering, which runs in rep in the NT Lyttelton.


OPENING THURSDAY, 9 December 2010 (previews from 8 December), fresh from Australia, 1927 present the European Premiere ofThe Animals and Children Took to the Streets at the Battersea Arts centre, running until 8 January.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 1 December), the stage show based on Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman returns to London’s Peacock Theatre for its 13th consecutive year, running until 9 January 2011.


OPENING FRIDAY, 10 December 2010 (previews from 8 December), the Royal Shakespeare Company's ten-week residency at the Roundhouse continues with Antony and Cleopatra, starring Darrell D'Silva and Kathryn Hunter and directed by Michael Boyd, which continues to 30 December.


OPENING SATURDAY 11 December 2010 (previews from 9 December), saggy old cloth cat Bagpuss takes to the stage for the very first time in Birmingham Stage Company's adaptation of the much-loved TV series, which runs at Soho Theatre until 9 January 2011. Suitable for ages seven and under.