What’s opening in the West End this week including Bette & Joan, Shrek The Musical and Shakespeare’s Globe.

NEW SHOWS OPENING 2 – 8 MAY

Bette & Joan

Anita Dobson and Greta Scacchi in Bette & Joan

Bette & Joan starts previews at the Arts Theatre in London on Thursday 5 May. The show stars Anita Dobson and Greta Scacchi in the world premiere of Anton Burge’s new play about the long-running feud between Hollywood movie stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Bette & Joan is directed by Bill Alexander and runs at the Arts Theatre until 25 June.

Also on the 5 May, Shakespeare’s Globe kicks off its 2011 season with a new production of All’s Well That Ends Well starring Janie Dee and directed by John Dove. Plus a new production of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance starts previews at the Almeida, directed by James Macdonald and featuring an all-star cast including Penelope Wilton, Lucy Cohu, Imelda Staunton and Tim Pigott-Smith.

The cast of Shrek the Musical

The cast of Shrek the Musical

Friday 6 May sees major new DreamWorks show Shrek The Musical start previews at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Everyone’s favourite ogre is brought to life in this massive new musical based on the Oscar-winning film. A high-profile cast includes Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, Nigel Lindsay as Shrek and Nigel Harman as Lord Farqaard.

AND CLOSING….

The Children’s Hour ends its run at the Comedy Theatre on Saturday 7 May. Also closing on Saturday is the Pulitzer prize winning play Clybourne Park at the Wyndham’s Theatre. SMASH! finishes at the Menier Chocolate Factory on Sunday 8 May.

OPENING IN ONE WEEK

Zoe Wanamaker in The Cherry Orchard

Zoe Wanamaker in The Cherry Orchard

Zoe Wanamaker stars in The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre from 10 May. Also on the 10th, the new cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies get their official first night at the Adelphi Theatre, as David Thaxton, Celia Graham and Haley Flaherty join the cast of the show. Over at the Garrick Theatre Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg start previews of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion from 12 May. Shrek The Musical gets its official first night at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 14 May.

OPENING IN TWO WEEKS

Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate starts previews at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 16 May, and Shakespeare’s Globe follows on 21 May with another production of the same play but starring Nurse Jackie’s Eve Best. On the 19 May the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park kicks off its 2011 summer season with William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

LATER IN MAY

Kristin Soctt Thomas leads the cast of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre from 27 May in a new production directed by Ian Rickson, also starring Douglas Henshall and Ben Miles.