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Theatre News

Opening: RSC, Face, Brown, Lies, Beau & Betwixt

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Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TODAY, Tuesday 6 May 2008, the Royal Shakespeare Company presents its second round of London press performances for its complete eight-play Histories cycle at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm (See News, 28 Jun 2007). Following last month’s openings of Richard II, Henry IV, parts I and II and Henry V, today critics will see the plays in the Henry VI trilogy back to back, following by the final instalment, Richard III, tomorrow night (7 May). The productions - all directed by RSC artistic director Michael Boyd and performed by the same 35-strong company including Jonathan Slinger and David Warner – run in rep until 25 May. The London transfer is the culmination of a two-and-a-half year project.

ALSO TONIGHT, French playwright Carole-Anne Le Foll’s new play Tell Me… Lies comes to the Arts Theatre, where it continues until 17 May 2008 before touring to Brighton and Edinburgh.

** DON’T MISS the chance to catch TELL ME… LIES for just £10 - click here for more info! **

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 7 May 2008 (previews from 2 May), TV showman Derren Brown brings his latest live show, Derren Brown Mind-Reader: An Evening of Wonders, at the West End’s Garrick Theatre, following an extensive regional tour (See News, 27 Feb 2008). The show draws inspiration from the mind-reading acts of the 1930s to create an evening full of awe-inspiring magic and more than a few surprises. It runs for a limited season only, ending on 7 June 2008.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 2 May), Oxford Street, the new play by 93.2FM author Levi David Addai, receives its world premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The play, centring on a group of security guards at a sports shop in Oxford Street, featuring a cast including former rapper Ashley Walters, Nathaniel Martello-White and Cyril Nri (See News, 14 Mar 2008). It’s directed by Dawn Walton and runs until 31 May 2008.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Israel’s Rukab Project theatre collective performs In Spitting Distance at the Barbican Pit. A black comic look at life in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the experience of being an Arabic traveller since the 9/11 attacks, it runs until 17 May 2008.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, north London’s Tricycle Theatre presents a unique company of professional barristers, solicitors and judges in To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted from Harper Lee’s novel. Director Sally Knyvette has previously directed the ‘Tricycle Lawyers’ in several productions including Twelve Angry Men and Inherit the Wind.

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, Potted Potter – The Unauthorised Harry Experience opens at west London’s Riverside Studios, returning top the capital after previous seasons at Trafalgar Studios. Promising a whistle-stop guide to “all seven books in 70 minutes”, the show continues until 15 May 2008.

OPENING THURSDAY, 8 May 2008 (preview 7 May), James Sherman’s Off-Broadway comedy Beau Jest receives its UK premiere at Hackney Empire, starring Lara Pulver, who was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical in this year’s Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards for Parade (See News, 10 Apr 2008). Pulver plays a young school teacher who, eager to please her Jewish parents, hides her gentile boyfriend and invents a relationship with the good Jewish boy of her mother’s dreams. Susie McKenna directs the production, which is on until 1 June.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 2 May), Rikki Beadle-Blair’s new play Familyman premieres at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, running until 31 May.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 7 May), Kali Theatre company presents Satinder Kaur Chohan’s Zameen at the Arts Theatre until 17 May, as part of a national tour. The play, directed by Janet Steel, explores the devastating effects that global agribusiness can have on real human lives, and was developed through new writing development programme Kali Futures.

OPENING FRIDAY, 9 May 2008 (previews from 1 May), 21-year-old Polly Stenham’s multi award-winning debut play That Face, premiered last April at the Royal Court Upstairs, transfers to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre for a limited season to 5 July (See News, 18 Feb 2007). Lindsay Duncan and Matt Smith reprise their performances as a boozed-up mother and the teenage son on whom she’s fixated, and are newly joined by Skins star Hannah Murray as their daughter/sister. Jeremy Herrin directs.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THAT FACE on 27 May 2008 – including our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Polly Stenham & the cast! – click here to book now! **

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 6 May), Paul Rigel Jenkins’ comedy Natural Selection gets its UK premiere at south London’s Theatre503, directed by joint artistic director Tim Roseman directs the run to 31 May 2008.

OPENING SUNDAY, 11 May 2008 (previews from 6 May), former How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Abi Finley stars in the premiere of Ian Mcfarlane’s new musical fantasy Betwixt! at the King’s Head Theatre, the second production in the Islington venue’s new in-house season (See News, 5 Mar 2008). Fantasy novelist Bailey Howard and his flamboyant roommate are magically transported to the world of In-Between, where an ancient prophecy involving a seductive Nymph Queen is fulfilled. Stephen Fletcher also stars. The run continues until 22 June 2008.

- by Theo Bosanquet & Terri Paddock


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