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Plays Extend: Ghost Stories, Mousetrap, 39 Steps

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Several West End plays - Ghost Stories, The Mousetrap, The 39 Steps and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 at Shakespeare's Globe - have recently announced extensions to their booking periods.

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's theatrical thriller, Ghost Stories has announced it has extended its booking period through to 20 February 2011 at the Duke of York's Theatre. The production has also announced it will be putting on a special midnight performance to celebrate Halloween with a one-off show on Saturday 30 October 2010.

The 80-minute piece, billed as a “truly terrifying theatrical experience”, transferred into the West End on 13 July 2010 (previews from 25 June) following runs at the Liverpool Playhouse and Lyric Hammersmith. The production carries a warning: “Please be advised that Ghost Stories contains moments of extreme shock and tension. The show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 16. We strongly advise those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending.”

The West End production currently stars Nicolas Burns, David Cardy, Ryan Gage and Andy Nyman who also directs. The production is also directed by Jeremy Dyson and Sean Holmes with design by Jon Bausor and lighting design by James Farncombe. It is produced in the West End by the Lyric Hammersmith and Phil McIntyre Entertainments.

Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award-winning comedy The 39 Steps has extended its booking period at the Criterion Theatre, where it’s now booking through to 22 October 2011. The play, which started life at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (in June 2005) and had its London premiere at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn before opening in the West End on 20 September 2006 (previews from 14 September) is now entering its fifth year in the West End. Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan’s whodunit, memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, had its Broadway premiere in January 2008, and has been playing at New York's off-Broadway venue New World Stages since 25 March 2010.

In The 39 Steps, four actors play “150 roles” between them to tell the tale of London bachelor Richard Hannay fleeing to Scotland and breaking a spy ring to prove his innocence after a woman is found murdered in his home. The current West End cast is David Bark-Jones (as Hannay), Dianne Pilkington, Timothy Speyer and Jeremy Swift. Maria Aitken directs.

To meet box office demand Shakespeare’s Globe has added an extra eight performances of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, extending the Globe’s theatre season until Saturday 9 October 2010. Dominic Dromgoole’s productions of the two parts of Henry IV mark the first time that Shakespeare’s epic plays have been staged at the Globe. Roger Allam as Falstaff is joined by a ensemble which includes Jamie Parker as Prince Hal, William Gaunt as Worcester in Part 1 and Shallow in Part 2. Oliver Cotton takes the title role of Henry IV.

The South Bank venue also announced plans to film the production in high definition, fufilling its commitment to capture Sheakespeare's work on film. In addition to Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Shakespeare’s Globe will also film Henry VIII and The Merry Wives of Windsor which is currently playing at the Globe before a tour of the UK and North America.

Finally, at St Martin's Theatre, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest-running play, has extended its booking period once more - tickets are now on sale to 14 May 2011.

The classic whodunit - which celebrated its 50th West End anniversary, with HM The Queen in attendance, on 25 November 2002 - has become a Theatreland institution. The show originally opened next door at the Ambassadors and transferred to St Martin’s, after 20 years in its original home, in 1974. The Mousetrap is directed by David Turner.


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