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Opening: Woolf, After Dido, Panic & Hare’s Wall

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Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield – during this shortened Bank Holiday week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Tuesday 14 April 2009, Matthew Kelly returns to the West End in Edward Albee’s 1962 classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which runs at Trafalgar Studios 2 until 9 May (See News, 13 Mar 2009). Tracy Childs plays Martha to Kelly’s husband George (pictured) in the tale of a booze-filled night of marital recriminations.

The production, directed by Andrew Hall, is the first West End transfer for a show originated last October at the Garrick, which opened in 2003 and is named in honour of the great 18th-century actor and local boy David Garrick (See Features, 15 Sep 2003). The cast also features Louise Kempton and Mark Farrelly as Honey and Nick, a younger couple invited round to dinner.

ALSO TONIGHT, Jack Shepherd stars in his self-penned dark comedy Only When I Laugh, which concludes a national tour with a run, until 2 May, at north London’s Arcola Theatre. Nicky Henson directs.

ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 7 April), Steven Fechter’s The Woodsman opens at the Old Red Lion theatre in Islington for a run to 2 May 2009. Walter has a dark secret. After twelve years in prison he desperately wants to live a normal life, but he still wakes up screaming in the night.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 15 April 2009, the Young Vic’s collaboration with English National Opera continues with Katie Mitchell’s After Dido, a live music and film performance inspired by Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which runs until 25 April (See News, 9 Oct 2008). The production was commissioned to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth and was first announced by ENO last April (See News, 17 Apr 2008).

ALSO ON WEDNESDAY, A Place at the Table - which is directed, designed and produced by Paul Burgess – opens at the Camden People’s Theatre for a run to 2 May 2009. An international company of performers, artists, experts and eye witnesses invites the audience to take a place at the table, sharing food and memories as the repercussions of the assassination of Burundi’s President Ndadaye are explored.

OPENING THURSDAY, 16 April 2009 (preview 15 April), Improbable Theatre, well known for Shockheaded Peter, makes its Barbican debut in The Pit with the hallucinatory Panic (See News, 23 Oct 2008). The bite09 co-commission is drawn from personal stories and current obsessions with love and illness. Is the Great God Pan dead? Or is that him in the window of a Brixton flat? Or snogging a woman in a crowded bar? Panic continues until 16 May 2009.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, Robin Deacon performs his monologue Prototypes for three nights only at Soho Theatre as part of the Spill Festival. Deacon confronts indeterminate fears regarding the passage of time and the process of ageing through use of documentary style film, monologue and a working model railway.

OPENING FRIDAY, 17 April 2009 (previews from 14 April), playwright David Hare reprises his script-in-hand reading of Wall, his meditation the Israel-Palestinian conflict, for ten more performances at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 24 Mar 2009). The 40-minute piece reunites Hare with former Royal Court artistic director Stephen Daldry more than a decade after Hare made his acting debut in his Middle East monologue Via Dolorosa, which premiered at the Royal Court in 1998 during Daldry’s reign as artistic director.

Wall is a companion piece to Berlin, Hare’s 55-minute reading about Germany’s restored capital, which he performed at the National Theatre last month as part of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Wall runs nightly at 9.30 following Clare Higgins’ one-woman performance of Wallace Shawn’s The Fever in the Royal Court Downstairs.

ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 15 April), children’s theatre company Theatre-Rites and aerialists Ockham’s Razor bring their spectacular family spectacular Hang On to west London’s Lyric Hammersmith for a season until 25 April.

- by Terri Paddock


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