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Shows close during Olympics ceremony, running time cut

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Many West End shows will be dark on Friday July 27, the day of the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Some productions, such as Wicked, have scheduled extra shows on other days before and after the ceremony.

The shows which still have performances include: One Man, Two Guvnors, The 39 Steps, Rock of Ages, The Complete World of Sports (Abridged), The Woman in Black, Yes, Prime Minister, The Hurly Burly Show, We Will Rock You, Abigail's Party, Svengali and The Sunshine Boys. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has a 2pm show, Chariots of Fire and Mamma Mia have 3pm matinees, Spamalot and Posh have 5pm shows.

The National Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse also have performances on 27 July, with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Last of the Haussmans and Philadelphia, Here I Come respectively. War Horse will also be running as usual. Finally, Sadler's Wells' Play Without Words and the Coliseum's Nutcracker also have performances.

In other Opening Ceremony news, the length of the event has reportedly been reduced by half an hour, down to a three hour running time.

The Danny Boyle-directed spectacular has been cut down because of concerns that the transport network will not be able to take everyone home from the stadium after the ceremony. There are also fears that the security checkpoints won’t be able to cope with the crowd on 27 July. The ceremony isn’t scheduled to start until 9pm, so the previous running time would have left people stranded after the London Underground had finished running. The shorter time means that people will be able to catch the last trains.

The ceremony, which is showcasing the British countryside, will feature live animals as the stadium is transformed, as well as a cricket match. A spokesman has said that scenes are being "tightened", and a scene involving stunt bikes has been cut. A total of 10,000 volunteers are involved in the ceremony.

- Rosie Bannister


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