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Off-West End Announcements – 16 October 2009

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Look Behind You At Landor
We’ve had Zombieland the movie. Now prepare yourself for Zombie Prom, opening at the Landor Theatre this Tuesday. A musical comedy from the creative team behind The Witches of Eastwick musical, it’s a typical 1950s American teen romance, until rebel love interest Jonny throws himself off a tall building and returns from the dead to gatecrash prom. Cross Grease with Sean of the Dead and you get the idea. The show will run from 20 October-14 November.

Gatehouse Great Pretenders
Also opening this week is Great Pretenders, a new musical from Neil Harrison of The Bootleg Beatles and Simon Jermond of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, Upstairs at the Gatehouse from 23 October to 15 November. A group of tribute acts assemble in a West End dressing room to audition for big budget show Send in the Clones, but as they prepare for their big moment, pretences in their own lives begin to surface. Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Elvis Presley are just three of the lookalikes. Christian Durham directs.

A Show Of Some Importance
Another Off-Broadway chamber musical gets its European premiere at the Union Theatre next month when Ben De Wynter directs Terrence McNally’s A Man of No Importance (11 Nov - 5 Dec). Based on the 1994 film of the same name starring Albert Finney, the show is set in 1950s working class Dublin, where bus conductor and amateur thesp Alfie Byrne sets about directing his passengers in a community play, teaching them about the power of theatre along the way.

Burnley By Way Of London
From musicals to music halls, and Wilton’s in particular, which is to host the London run of Robin Soans’ powerful new play Mixed Up North, currently touring. Directed by Max-Stafford-Clark, the play is also about a drama group, but this time a real one called ‘Breaking Down Barriers in Burnley’. Based on the group's true story, it looks at the difficulties of uniting divided racial communities. It runs at Wilton's from 10 November to 5 December.

Tragi-Comix Above The Stag
And finally, another true story in David Johnston’s Busted Jesus Comix, opening at Victoria’s Above the Stag next month. Central character Marco is based on Tallahassee teenager Mike Diana, who wrote a comic book ruled obscene by a Florida court and was sentenced to three years probation and a $3000 fine. Prav Menon-Johansson, director of the Stag’s current hit, Bathhouse the Musical, takes the helm again for this production (3-28 November), which she also designed.


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