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Opening: Polar Bears, Dumb Show, Rita & Shirley

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

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 6 April 2010 (previews from 1 April), Polar Bears, the playwriting debut of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time author Mark Haddon, premieres at the Donmar Warehouse (See News, 15 Dec 2009), starring Richard Coyle and Jodhi May directed by Jamie Lloyd and continuing until 22 May.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 April 2010 (previews from 6 April), Stephen Adly Guirgis’ high-octane prison drama Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is revived by Synergy Theatre Project, a company working with prisoners and ex-offenders, at Trafalgar Studios 2. Until 24 April.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 1 April), Sanjeev Bhaskar plays a “Mr Saturday Night” celeb in the first major revival of Joe Penhall’s Dumb Show, directed by artistic director Stephen Unwin at the Rose Theatre, Kingston (See News, 22 Feb 2010). Until 17 April.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 30 March) Daniel Reitz’s Studies for a Portrait comes to the King’s Head, the first production directed there by the theatre’s newly appointed artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher. Until 23 May.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 24 March), the Northampton Royal & Derngate double bill of Tennessee Williams’ Spring Storm and Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon transfers to the NT Cottelsoe.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, children’s show How Cold My Toes comes to the Unicorn Theatre, where it runs until 18 April.

OPENING THURSDAY, 8 April 2010 (previews from 26 March), two Willy Russell plays, Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita (both of which were successfully adapted for the screen), are revived in a repertory season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, featuring Meera Syal in the first and Larry Lamb in the second (See News, 12 Feb 2010).

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 31 March), DC Moore’s second play The Empire premieres at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, directed by former Bush artistic director Mike Bradwell and continuing to 1 May 2010.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 7 April), Max Stafford-Clark directs Out of Joint’s premiere production of Sebastian Barry’s Andersen’s English at Hampstead Theatre, with a cast including Niamh Cusack and Danny Sapani. Until 8 May.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, Tap Dance Fever hits New Wimbledon Theatre as part of a national tour.

OPENING FRIDAY, 9 April 2010 (previews from 7 April), new comedy The Dark Side of Buffoon, written and performed by brothers John and Martin Marquez, is presented at the Lyric Hammersmith, directed by Open Air artistic director Timothy Sheader and running until 17 April.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 6 April), Riff Raff, written by Hollywood screen star Laurence Fishburne, gets its UK premiere at the Arcola Theatre (See News, 8 Mar 2010), where it continues until 24 April.


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