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Theatre News

Opening: Artefacts, Vortex, RSC, Almeida Chain II

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Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 25 February 2008 (previews from 20 February), Mike Bartlett’s new play Artefacts premieres at the Bush Theatre, directed by James Grieve (See News, 5 Feb 2008). After coming through the recent Arts Council funding crisis as one of the ‘winners’, the Bush is staging two other premieres this season. Artefacts tells the story of 16-year-old Kelly whose ordinary Saturday afternoon is torn apart by the sudden arrival of her Iraqi father, sparking off discoveries about family, identity and culture clashes. The play was a recipient of the Old Vic New Voices Award and runs at the Bush until 22 March.

OPENING TUESDAY, 26 February 2008 (previews from 20 February), Felicity Kendal (pictured) and Dan Stevens star in Noël Coward’s The Vortex at the Apollo Theatre, directed by Peter Hall (See News, 23 Nov 2007). Ahead of this West End transfer, the production briefly toured the regions, visiting Bath, Woking, Richmond and Malvern. The production runs at the Apollo until 7 June.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 20 February), Hampstead Theatre presents the London premiere of 3 Sisters on Hope Street by Diane Samuels and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Directed by Lindsay Posner, the production runs until 29 March.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Fat Christ, a new comedy by Gavin Davis, opens at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. The production runs until 23 March.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 27 February 2008, Leading German director Thomas Ostermeier returns to the Barbican Theatre with his version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, set in contemporary Berlin. As rain pours down outside a sleek, modern apartment, the tense relationship between newlyweds Hedda and Tesman periodically erupts in bursts of violence that shatter the suburban calm. The production runs for four nights only until 1 March.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 21 February), The RSC season at the Tricycle opens with the world premiere of Leo Butler’s I'll Be the Devil, directed by Ramin Gray. Originally written for the RSC's Complete Works Festival in response to The Tempest, the production is fully staged at the Tricycle for the first time, with designs by Lizzie Clachan. It runs until 8 March.

OPENING THURSDAY, 28 February 2008 (previews from 16 February), Baby Girl, DNA and The Miracle, a trio of plays for teenagers, opens at the NT’s Cottesloe Theatre. Each one is under an hour in length, and only two of the three are presented together. However, there are certain days where all three can be seen in one evening - contact the NT’s box office for more details. The productions run together until 10 April.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 26 February), Multimedia company Lightwork presents Sarajevo Story at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio for a limited run to 15 March. Sarajevo Story is a multimedia piece featuring extensive sound and video designs and a thread of dance. Inspired by actual circumstances, it tells a contemporary story about truth and perception, togetherness and separation, set across the faultlines of cultures, international politics and personal histories.

OPENING FRIDAY, 29 February 2008, six invited writers come together to create Chain Play II, a one-night-only fundraising event at the Almeida Theatre (See News, 3 Jan 2008). Running for a second year in a row, the writers confirmed to participate in Chain Play II are Americans Neil LaBute and Stephen Adly Guirgis as well as Britons Richard Bean, Abi Morgan, Mike Poulton and Tanya Ronder.

- by Tom Atkins


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