Opening: Life, Black, Endgame, Comedians & Gun
OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 12 October 2009 (previews from 8 October), the Tricycle Theatre’s Not Black and White season - premiering new plays by three of the UK’s leading black playwrights, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Roy Williams and Bola Agbaje – launches with Williams’ Category B, which continues in rep until 12 December (See News, 11 Aug 2009). Each play is centred around political and social issues in 21st-century London, tackling the prison system, mayoralty and immigration respectively. All three are performed by the same company, featuring Jimmy Akingbola, Cecilia Noble and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
ALSO TONIGHT, Edinburgh Fringe sell-out Blow Up! The Credit Crunch Musical transfers to London for a series of dates at the King’s Head Theatre, from tonight, and the Leicester Square Theatre.
OPENING TUESDAY, 13 October 2009 (previews from 8 October), The Wire star Dominic West returns to the stage to star in Helen Edmundson’s new version of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream, which runs until 28 November debut (See News, 17 Apr 2009). The examination of the conflict between free will and fate follows the travails of Segismundo (West), the banished heir to the throne of Poland, who dreams of palaces, empires, freedom and revenge. The cast, directed by Jonathan Munby, also features Kate Fleetwood, David Horovitch, Malcolm Storry and Rupert Evans.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 14 October 2009 (previews from 7 October), Matthew Kelly leads the cast as faded music hall star and tutor Eddie Waters in the Lyric Hammersmith revival of Trevor Griffiths’ 1975 play Comedians, which marks Sean Holmes’ directorial debut as the theatre’s new artistic director (See News, 3 Jun 2009). Six wannabe comedians attend an evening class at a school in Manchester in preparation for a performance in front of London agent. The cast also features Mark Benton Keith Allen, Kulvinder Ghir, David Dawson and The League of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith. The production continues until 14 November 2009.
OPENING THURSDAY, 15 October 2009 (previews from 2 October), Mark Rylance, Miriam Margolyes, Tom Hickey and Simon McBurney, who also directs, perform Complicite’s new production of Samuel Beckett’s 1957 existentialist play Endgame at the West End’s Duchess Theatre. Rylance stepped in to take over the starring role as the wheelchair-bound Hamm when Richard Briers withdrew from the production, which runs until 5 December (See News, 11 Aug 2009).
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 1 October), the Rose Theatre Kingston opens its Behind Closed Doors season with revivals of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, directed by Stephen Unwin, and Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce, starring Jane Asher and directed by Peter Hall, running in rep until 28 November (See News, 7 Jul 2009).
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 13 October), Bobby Crush plays Mr Showmanship, pleading his case at the pearly gates, in Liberace: Live from Heaven, running in the Basement at the Leicester Square Theatre until 8 November.
OPENING FRIDAY, 16 October 2009 (previews from 3 October), Jane Horrocks and Julian Ovenden star as sharp-shooter rivals turned romantics Annie Oakley and Frank Butler in the Young Vic’s major new production of Irving Berlin’s Wild West musical Annie Get Your Gun, which is directed by Richard Jones and continues until 2 January 2010 (See News, 11 Jun 2009). The score of 1946 Broadway musical comedy includes now-classic songs “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Doing What Comes Naturally”.
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ALSO ON FRIDAY, Cosh Omar’s comedy The Great Extension explores the difficulties of self-induced amnesia at Theatre Royal Stratford East. It runs until 16 November.