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Opening This Week in the West End

It’s an eclectic mix of shows that are opening this week in the West End, as the autumn season of new productions begins apace. From Wonder Woman to Michael Gambon via Noel Coward and Sebastian Faulks, there’s something for everyone.

Gareth Gates in Les Mis
Gareth Gates in Les Mis

On Tuesday 14 September, Les Miserables returns to the Barbican Theatre, where it all began 25 years ago. A brand new production of Boublil and Schonberg’s legendary musical has been touring the UK to celebrate its 25th anniversary and completes its run at the Barbican – but for only 22 performances. The show features a dynamic young cast including Gareth Gates.

Design for Living
Design for Living

Noel Coward is never far from the West End, and Wednesday 15 September sees the opening night of Design for Living at the Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo. Anthony Page directs Coward’s 1932 comedy about the complicated three-way relationship between two men and a woman. The play stars Tom Burke (Telstar), Andrew Scott (Lennon Naked) and Lisa Dillon (Cranford) and runs until 27 November.

On the same day Krapp’s Last Tape starts previews at the Duchess Theatre starring one of Britain’s most accomplished actors, Michael Gambon. The Dublin Gate Theatre transfer of Samuel Beckett’s classic enjoyed rave reviews at the Gate directed by Michael Colgan. The 50 minute show is playing two shows a night, keeping Mr Gambon nicely occupied.

Lynda Carter
Lynda Carter

On Friday 17 September  the fabulous Lynda Carter, aka Wonder Women, pops to town for two shows of her Lynda Carter: At Last solo sing-fest. Best known to millions as TV superhero Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter: At Last is a musical evening to celebrate her recent solo album. Following dates in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, Lynda Carter will appear in London on 17 and 18 September 2010 at the Garrick Theatre.

Also on Friday, the Chichester Festival Theatre’s sell-out production of Yes, Prime Minister starts previews at the Gielgud Theatre starring Henry Goodman and David Haig. The original writers of the BBC series, Antony Jay & Jonathan Lynn, have reunited for this hilarious 30th anniversary production, promising much topical wit and political spin-doctoring: Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby are back and this time to face the country in financial meltdown!

Ben Barnes and Genevieve O'Reilly, Birdsong
Ben Barnes and Genevieve O’Reilly, Birdsong

The following day, Saturday 18 September, Trevor Nunn is back in the West End directing Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of the best-selling Sebastian Faulks novel Birdsong. The play starts previews at the Comedy Theatre starring British movie star Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia), Nicholas Farrell, Iain Mitchell, Genevieve O’Reilly and Lee Ross, and tells the moving story of one man’s journey through an all consuming love affair and into the horror of the First World War.

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