The Ladykillers, a new stage version of the iconic 1955 Ealing film comedy that was subsequently remade by the Coen Brothers in 2004 in a version that starred Tom Hanks, began performances at the Gielgud Theatre Nov. 26, 2011, prior to an official opening Dec. 7. Sean Foley — seen on Broadway in The Play What I Wrote, that he co-wrote and starred in — directs a cast that includes Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller, Clive Rowe, Stephen Wight and Marcia Warren as Mrs. Wilberforce. The play is scripted by TV writer Graham Linehan in his first West End comedy. It is due to tour regionally after its West End run. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 482 5130 or visit www.theladykillers.co.uk.
Absent Friends, a 1974 play by Alan Ayckbourn, began performances at the Harold Pinter Theatre Jan. 26, prior to an official opening Feb. 9. Jeremy Herrin directs a cast that comprises David Armand, Elizabeth Berrington, Katherine Parkinson, Steffan Rhodri, Reece Shearsmith and Kara Tointon. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 8717622 or visit www.absentfriendstheplay.com.
Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, which originally premiered at Newcastle's Live Theatre and was subsequently brought to London's National Theatre and later to Broadway with its original cast, began performances at the Duchess Theatre Oct. 5, 2011. The play, inspired by a book by William Feaver, revolves around the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things. It is directed by Max Roberts, with set and costume design by Gary McCann, lighting by Douglas Kuhrt and sound by Martin Hodgson, and features original Newcastle, National Theatre and Broadway cast members Trevor Fox, Michael Hodgson, Ian Kelly, Brian Lonsdale and David Whitaker, alongside Joe Caffrey, Joy Brooks and Viktoria Kay. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.