The Fantasticks, The Crucible, All My Sons and Dream of the Dog
New shows starting this week in the West End include long-running Broadway musical The Fantasticks, which began previews at the Duchess Theatre last night. Also previewing from last night is The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. Another Arthur Miller play, All My Sons, gets its first night premiere on Thursday 27 May at the Apollo Theatre starring David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker. Also opening on Thursday 27 May is South African-set Dream of the Dog at the Trafalgar Studios starring Janet Suzman. Finally, previewing from this Thursday is Simon Gray’s play The Late Middle Classes at the Donmar Warehouse starring Helen McCrory, Eleanor Bron and Robert Glenister.
Duchess Theatre, from 24 May 2010
The world’s longest-running musical finally makes it to London after first wowing audiences on Broadway 50 years ago. Since its debut in 1960 it has played in over 2,000 cities and towns in 67 countries worldwide, and now makes its UK debut at the Duchess Theatre in London.
This brand new production of the much-loved musical is directed by Amon Miyamoto, bringing a fresh visual, emotional and musical energy to the show. The Fantasticks tells an allegorical story about two neighbouring fathers who put up a wall between their houses to ensure that their children fall in love, because they know children always do what their parents forbid.
After the children do fall in love, they discover their fathers’ plot and each go off and experience the world. Finally, they return to each other and appreciate the love they had after learning to recognise their true feelings.
An impressive cast includes David Burt (Les Miserables, Chess, Taboo), Edward Petherbridge (The Woman in White ), Clive Rowe (Chicago, Caroline, or Change), Carl Au (High School Musical), Luke Brady (Nightfall), Hadley Fraser (Peter Pan), Paul Hunter (The Fahrenheit Twins), and Lorna Want (Footloose The Musical).
Open Air Theare Regent’s Park, from 24 May 2010
One of Arthur Miller’s greatest plays, The Crucible is set amid the Salem witch hunts of the 1600s, in which a community is divided by jealousy and superstition.
The cast of this powerful new production includes Patrick O’Kane, Emma Cunniffe, Emily Taaffe, Oliver Ford Davies, Lucy May Barker, Charlie Cameron, Philip Cumbus, Anni Domingo, Susan Engel, Christopher Fulford, Patrick Godfrey, Christopher Hunter, Bettrys Jones, Paul Kemp, Geoff Leesley, Alexandra Mathie, Gary Milner, Ellie Paskell and Malcolm Rogers. The director is Timothy Sheader.
Apollo Theatre, opens 27 May 2010
All My Sons is Arthur Miller’s compelling story of forbidden love, loyalty, guilt and the corrupting power of greed, and marks the first great success of Miller’s influential career.
Acclaimed actors David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker return to the West End to star in the play, directed by Howard Davies.
In All My Sons, Joe Keller (Suchet) is alleged to have supplied World War II fighter planes with defective engines, leading to the deaths of innocent pilots, a crime for which his business partner took the fall. One of Keller’s sons, himself a pilot, is thought to have been killed in action. His mother (Wanamaker) can’t accept his death and equally can’t accept that her dead son’s fiancée has transferred her affections to her other son. The confrontations that ensue lead to the uncovering of a world-shaking family secret.
Director Howard Davies previously won a Laurence Olivier Award for his 2000 production of All My Sons, which was staged at the National Theatre.
Trafalgar Studios, from 27 May 2010
Oscar nominated actress Janet Suzman returns to London to star in Dream of the Dog, a rich and complex story set in South Africa. Dream Of The Dog takes an unflinching look at the twin mantras of the post-Mandela age, reconciliation and forgiveness, asking whether black and white can ever live together peacefully.
The cast includes Janet Suzman alongside Ariyon Bakare, Gracy Goldman and Bernard Kay, is written by Craig Higginson and directed by Katie McAleese.
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