Shafesbury Avenue Embraces Straight Plays in '98

Shafesbury Avenue Embraces Straight Plays in '98 LONDON TICKET -- June 1998

LONDON TICKET -- June 1998

With subsidized companies (excepting the triumphant National Theatre) universally declaring huge deficits, Covent Garden in meltdown and considerable doubt still hanging over the future of the South Bank Centre, the West End has come back to life as a home of straight plays as well as the musicals, which for so long have outnumbered them.

In the next three to six months there, we can look forward to the world premiere of Edward Albee's The Play About The Baby (directed by Howard Davies) and Harold Pinter starring in a revival of three of his short plays (A Kind of Alaska, The Lover and The Collection) as well as Michael Frayn's new Copenhagen (about the Uncertainty Theory, or at least I'm fairly certain that's what it's about).

From Off-Broadway comes Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive and The Man Who Came To Dinner, part of a Steppenwolf season at the Barbican, and we also get the return of David Hare's Plenty (with Alec McCowen), Filumena (Judi Dench for Peter Hall at the Piccadilly) and Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, who also has her new After Darwin going into Hampstead early in July.

All that and a Diana Rigg Phaedra at the Almeida. -- By Sheridan Morley