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Opening: Aunt Dan, Friends, All’s Well, Harwood

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Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield – during this shortened Bank Holiday week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Tuesday 26 May 2009 (previews from 21 May), April De Angelis]' new comedy Amongst Friends receives its world premiere, for a limited run to 13 June as part of Hampstead Theatre’s 50th anniversary season. Journalist Lara and her ex-MP and crime writer husband Richard, who are happily living in a fashionable gated community, invite their old neighbours to dinner, but when the security system fails, an uninvited guest arrives. Directed by artistic director Anthony Clark, the cast includes Helen Baxendale, Emma Cunniffe, James Dreyfus and Aden Gillett (See News, 24 Apr 2009).

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 22 May), South African State Theatre’s production of Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom’s Foreplay, which transplants Schnitzler’s string of sexual liaisons in La Ronde from 19th-century Vienna to modern Pretoria, comes to east London’s Theatre Royal Stratford, where it continues until 13 June 2009.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 27 May 2009 (previews from 20 May), the Royal Court’s Wallace Shawn season concludes in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs with artistic director Dominic Cooke’s revival of Shawn’s 1985 play Aunt Dan and Lemon, starring Jane Horrocks as the impressionable child Lemon and Lorraine Ashbourne as the exotic but dangerous aunt (See News, 6 Nov 2008). It continues until 27 June.

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ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 20 May), Philip Franks’ Chichester Festival pairing of Ronald Harwood’s two Second World War plays, 1995’s Taking Sides and Harwood’s new play Collaboration, transfers to the West End’s Duchess Theatre (See News, 18 Feb 2009). Though standalone stories, the plays were written as companion pieces, both exploring the fine line between Nazi collaboration and betrayal. Michael Pennington stars in both. The productions run in rep until 22 August 2009.

OPENING THURSDAY, 28 May 2009 (previews from 19 May), Marianne Elliott directs the National Theatre’s first-ever production of Shakespeare’s All's Well That Ends Well, which runs in rep in the £10 Season in the NT Olivier. The cast features Clare Higgins as the Countess of Rossillion and Conleth Hill as Parolles, as well as Michelle Terry and George Rainsford as Helena and Bertram (See News, 27 Feb 2009).

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 26 May), Peter Hamilton’s Basildon, inspired by the author’s own chance encounter with a middle-aged French artist living in Fulham, receives its world premiere at south London’s White Bear Theatre in a run to 21 June 2009.

OPENING FRIDAY, 29 May 2009 (previews from 26 May), the long-running Off-Broadway revue celebrating the male body, Naked Boys Singing, gets a London makeover care of director Phil Willmott at the King’s Head theatre in Islington. The 70-minute cabaret is performed by a seven-strong male cast, switching to late-night 10pm showings from 7 July.

** DON’T MISS the chance to save £5 on your NAKED BOYS SINGING tickets at the King’s Head - click here to book now!! **

- by Terri Paddock


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