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Key Openings in the South-East Region This Fortnight

March blows in some old favourites, albeit some of them come in unfamiliar guise.

OPENING 1 March. The Woman in Black in the adaptation by Stephen Mallatratt of Susan Hill’s spine-chilling novel glides across the stage of the Cambridge Arts Theatre between 1 and 6 March. It’s directed by Robin Herford for PW Productions and comes here as part of a major new national tour.

OPENING 1 March. Romeo and Juliet at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester in the co-production with Salida and involving the Astillero Tango  Orchestra has been previewing from 25 February. Company members join an international cast of actor-dancers under the direction of Ed Hughes, who also plays Tybalt in the production. It runs until 13 March.

OPENING 3 March. Dad’s Army Marches On at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage in the shape of the classic scripts by [Jimmy Perry and Dvid Croft}. [Leslie Grantham leads the cast as Private Walker with Timothy Kightley as Captain Mainwaring. The last performance in Stevenage is on 6 March but the production can be seen at Westcliff and Colchester later in the month – 15-20 and 22-27 March respectively.

OPENING 4 March. Laughter in the Rain at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley tells the story of pop singer Neil Sedaka (played by Wayne Smith) from the Fifties to the present. It’s a world première co-produced by the theatre, Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield and follows on from their successful previous collaboration – Dreamboats and Petticoats. It runs at this theatre until 13 March.

OPENING 8 March. The History Boys by Alan Bennett returns to the Arts Theatre, Cambridge for an extended run until 20 March. This new touring production from the Theatre Royal, Bath and the West Yorkshire Playhouse is the first major revival of the play since its original National Theatre staging and subsequent sell-out tour in 2004. It can also be seen at the Theatre Royal, Brighton during the week beginning on 29 March.

OPENING 15 March. (previews from 12 March). The Talented Mr Ripley  by Phyllis Nagy at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch is based on the thriller by Patricia Highsmith; it was filmed very successfully with Matt Damon and Jude Law as the leading characters – a wealthy young layabout and the man sent to return him to his home in America. It’s directed by the Queen’s Theatre’s artistic director Bob Carlton with a cast selected from the resident cut to the chase… company. The run ends on 3 April; there is no performance on Good Friday 2 April.

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