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Theatre News

Opening: Beauty Queen & Fela! Again, Betwixt!, Dames

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Amongst the major London openings, in the West End and further afield, this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 26 July 2011 (previews from 20 July), Joe Hill-Gibbins’ acclaimed production of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenan returns to the Young Vic following last year's London outing. Rosaleen Linehan continues to lead the company as devilishly manipulative mother Mag. Irish actress Derbhle Crotty joins the cast as lonely spinster Maureen. The Beauty Queen of Leenan continues until 3 September 2011.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, (previews from 20 July), Afrobeat musical Fela! transfers to Sadler's Wells for the summer following its run at the National Theatre which ended earlier this year. Sahr Ngaujah returns to the show's title role, playing Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti who produced over 70 albums during his career. Having transferred to the NT Olivier following an Off-Broadway and Broadway run, Fela! is directed by Spring Awakening's Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T Jones. It continues at Sadler's Wells until 28 August 2011.

OPENING THURSDAY, 28 July (previews from 26 July), Ian McFarlane's new musical Betwixt! charms its way into Trafalgar Studios 2 with a cast which includes former Blue Peter TV presenter Peter Duncan, Broadway's Ellen Greene, Wicked's Ashleigh Gray, History Boy Steven Webb and newcomer Benedict Salter. Telling the story of New York writer Bailey and his flamboyant roommate Cooper who are catapulted into a strange enchanted world, the musical promises "sitcom-styled dialogue and a toe-tapping score". It runs until 20 August 2011.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, (previews from 26 July), Stephen Ashfield (Jersey Boys, Taboo), Katie Kerr (Fat Pig, Little Shop of Horrors), Laura Armstrong (A Little Night Music), and Valerie Cutko (My Fair Lady) celebrate musical composers Rodgers and Hart, taking theatregoers back to the stylish days of the 1930s. Directed and devised by Tim McArthur, who also performs, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered follow's the Jermyn Street Theatre's tribute to Sondheim Classic Moments; Hidden Treasures. It run until 13 August 2011.

OPENING FRIDAY, 29 July (previews from 27 July), Rosemary Ashe leads the Union Theatre's revival of George Haimsohn, Robin Miller and Jim Wise's 1968 Off-Broadway musical Dames at Sea - a pastiche of the golden age of Hollywood. Kirk Jameson directs a cast which also includes Ian Mowat, Gemma Sutton, Daniel Bartlett, Alan Hunter and Anthony Wise. The musical continues at the Union until 20 August 2011.


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