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Opening: West End Piaf, Faces, Whistles & Cider

Amongst the major openings in London this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 21 October 2008 (previews from 16 October), Jamie Lloyd’s acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production of Pam Gems’ Piaf starring Elena Roger (pictured) transfers to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre, where it’s currently booking until 24 January 2009 (See News, 29 Aug 2008).

Gems’ play was first staged in 1978 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the same address as the Donmar (when the space was known as the Warehouse), starring Jane Lapotaire in the title role, and revived in the West End in 1993 with Elaine Paige (who, coincidentally, also preceded Elena Roger in the Peron role). In the new Donmar production, Roger is joined in the cast by Shane Attwooll, Phillip Browne, Lorraine Bruce, Luke Evans, Michael Hadley, Katherine Kingsley, Leon Lopez and Steve John Shepherd.

** Our Whatsonstage.com Outing to Piaf on 6 November 2008 – including a FREE drink, post-show cast reception & FREE show poster for just £35 – has now SOLD OUT! - click here to join the waiting list! **

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 17 October), Leo Butler’s latest play Faces in the Crowd opens at the Royal Court Upstairs. Starring Amanda Drew and Con O\'Neill, it looks at the reunification of a divorced couple, ten years after the husband walked out on his family and financial woes for a thrill-seeking bachelor existence in London. It runs until 8 November 2008.

ALSO ON TUESDAY (previews from 17 October), the Wrestling School presents the world premiere of Howard Barker’s The Dying of Today at the Arcola Theatre studio two, where it runs until 22 November 2008. The play looks at the nature of catastrophe and suffering and how it is communicated, and marks the company’s first appearance at the Arcola.

OPENING THURSDAY, 23 October 2008 (previews from 1 February), Paul Keating stars in Pete Nettell’s new production of Matthew Todd’s Blowing Whistles, about a gay couple with differing perspectives on their open relationship. It runs at Leicester Square Theatre until 29 November.

OPENING FRIDAY, 24 October 2008 (previews from 22 October), Sweet Cider, the debut play by performance poet Emteaz Hussain, premieres at the Arcola Theatre where it runs until 15 November. It is produced by Tamasha, the award-winning company behind A Fine Balance, The Trouble with Asian Men and the groundbreaking East Is East.

- by Theo Bosanquet


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