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Off-West End Announcements – 12 Feb 2010

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Bag Your Bonus At New End
Some plays deserve top billing purely for their titles. W For Banker is one of those plays. Running at the New End Theatre from 23 March – 18 April, the comedy is the latest to spring from the pen of writing duo Steinberg and Kilby. Their last outing, In the Balance imagined what might happen if a single person had the casting vote in the US presidential elections. With Obama safely deposed in the White House, they now turn their hand to bankers, bonuses and greed.

Islington’s Wilder than Wilde
And there will be more city slickers at the King’s Head Theatre, but in a rather different get-up. Writer director Martin Lewton’s new play Lord Arthur’s Bed weaves the story of high-flying civil partners Donald and Jim with the case of Victorian cross-dressers Ernest and Fred, whose farcical trial predated the Oscar Wilde scandal by 20 years. The play runs at lunchtimes from 2 March – 10 April, while Dermot Murphy’s The Condor and the Maiden runs evenings until 21 March.

Straight to DVD in Greenwich
Also running two plays concurrently is Greenwich Theatre, where former RSC director Elizabeth Freestreet takes on both Ben Jonson’s Volpone and John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. From 18 March to 10 April, Jonson’s dark satire will be renacted at 1pm every lunchtime, with Webster’s macabre tragedy opening on 23 March and playing nightly at 7pm. Greenwich has teamed up with Stage on Screen, who are producing a DVD of both productions to be released in May.

Relax Croydon: Do Do It
Things have been quiet at the Croydon Warehouse of late, until now. In his new play RELAX, Robert Farrar channels the classic French farce of George Feydeau and the gay humour of Joe Orton into a light-hearted look at the difficulties suburban men face in being honest about their sexuality. Phil Setren, founder of the One Act Play Festival, directs James Holmes of BBC One’s Miranda, Toby Bluto and Nadia Kamil in a four week run from 14 March – 4 April.

V-Day Gets More Than Monologue
It’s about that time of year again. No, not Valentine’s Day, but V-Day. And New Players Theatre are not only reviving Eve Ensler’s now infamous Vagina Monologues but showcasing a whole fortnight of feminine and feminist talent. The provocatively entitled See You Next Tuesday season, running from 5-20 March, includes theatre, comedy, cabaret and talks, and on the final night, the premiere of Maya Angelou’s Women Work as part of a gala night for the City of Joy safe-house in the Republic of Congo.

And Finally
Because we can’t leave you without a rose for Valentine’s Day, the welcome news that classic children’s book Guess How Much I Love You is to get a long awaited stage version this May, adapted by master of children’s theatre, David Wood. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare will be jumping from page to stage at the Rose Theatre from 18-23 May, before a mammoth 18 week tour. With 16 million copies of the book sold, best catch them in Kingston first. 


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