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Repertory round-up

Article | Published in TES Newspaper on 26 September, 1997 | By: tes editorial

SOUTH-WEST

EXETER Northcott (01392 493493)

Soldiering On, Her Big Chance and Bed Among the Lentils are Exeter's Talking Heads October 9-25, Cathy Turner offers pretender Perkin Warbeck in her expansion of reputedly lost history play Richard IV October 31-November 22, Orchard Theatre's Beauty and the Beast November 26-29, Jack and the Beanstalk December 10-January 17.

BRISTOL Old Vic (0117 987 7877) Michael Williams becomes 17th century gossip and diarist John Aubrey in Patrick Garland's Brief Lives to October 4, Macbeth October 10-November 1, Nick Darke's water pollution play The Man With Green Hair November 6-29, Aladdin December 5-January 31, All My Sons February 6-March 7 New Vic Stolen car, dead body, Asian life in Parv Bencil's Crazy Horse October 1-11, Storybox Theatre in three daytimes shows, The Nightingale October 28-29, Jumping the Moon October 30, The Steadfast Tin Soldier October 31-November 1, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in The Mysteries November 19-29, Jez Butterworth's power-driven 1950s evocation Mojo December 17-January 17.

SALISBURY Playhouse (01722 320333) Peta Murray's fine middle age dance romance Wallflowering October 2-18, then The Cherry Orchard October 23-November 29, mixed with David Hare's Anglican Church dissection Racing Demon from November 6, Jack and the Beanstalk December 6-January 10, Romeo and Juliet January 22-February 14.

Salberg Studio director Rupert Goold and Caroline Butler adapt Graham Greene's The End of the Affairr October 9-November 1, an abridged Midsummer Night's Dream November 4-15, afternoons and evenings, with linked education programme. Blues in the Night December 10- January 3 is a Chicago musical evening.

SOUTHAMPTON Nuffield (01703 671771) James Robson's Mail Order Bride to October 18 is a drama of cross-cultural tensions, fun flying with Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens October 22-November 8 by Charlotte Mann, music by Jonathan Croose and Robin Forrest. Following its early November community tour there's A Taste of Honey November 11-22, then Theatre de Deuxriees cycle in with Alain Bezu's race drama Le Tour de France November 26-29 (in French with English language titling plus free French lessons before the show), The Wizard of Oz December 4-January 17, then Jimmy Murphy's fine tale of two painters faced with just one promotion to foreman Brothers of the Brush January 29-February 21.

SOUTH-EAST

NEWBURY Watermill (01635 46044) Far From the Madding Crowd to October 4 is adapted by director Matthew White, chiller Wait Until Dark October 7-November 8, The Adventure of Mr Toad December 10-January 10.

BASINGSTOKE Haymarket (01256 465566) Victoria Wood's Talent twinned with Richard Harris's Is It Something I Said? to October 4, Anthony Shaffer's successor to Sleuth, Murderer October 23-November 15, Godspell December 5-January 17, Alexei Arbuzov's tale of love among the mature in Russia, Old World January 22-February 7.

HORNCHURCH Queen's (01708 443333) Jeffrey Hatcher adapts The Turn of the Screw October 1-25, The Official Tribute to The Blues Brothers October 27-November 1, more music with Dames at Sea November 6-29, Jack and the Beanstalk December 6-January 24.

SOUTHEND-ON-SEA Palace (01702 342564) Aspects of Love to October 4, Dave Simpson's look at male strippers on a Girls' Night Out October 9-25, Agatha Christie's The Hollow October 30-November 15, Jack and the Giant December 6-January 3, Terry Johnson's frank and comic dissection of humour Dead Funny January 15-31.

EAST MIDLANDS

COLCHESTER Mercury (01206 ) The Importance of Being Earnest October 23-November 15, Steve Trafford's Piaf homage Hymn to Love November 20-December 6, Aladdin December 12- January 10, Marie Jones' comedy about a famous singer's female Irish fans Women on the Verge of HRT January 20-31, Abigail's Party February 5-28.

IPSWICH Wolsey (01473 258725) The Servant of Two Masters to October 11, Alan Bennett's Kafka's Dick October 16-November 8,(and Alan Bennett's Talking Heads in the Wolsey Studio October 17-November 8), The Country Wife November 13-December 6, a panto co-created by new artistic director Andrew Manley and Jennifer Granville The Sleeping Beauty December 11-January 17, The Diary of Anne Frank January 22-February 14.

WATFORD Palace (01923 225671) Sylvia Freedman and Michael Jeffrey give a musical setting to a great Shakespearean actor in Edmund Kean October 3-25, no relation to Irish writer John B Keane whose Sive November 7-29 concerns a young woman with a marriage dilemma in 1950s Ireland, Roy Hudd's Babes in the Wood December 6-January 10, Frederick Knott's chiller Wait Until Dark January 30-February 21. School booking also open for Roots March 13-April 4.

NORTHAMPTON Royal (01604 32533) Talking Heads (A Cream Cracker Under the Settee/A Lady of Letters/Bed Among the Lentils) to October 4, Ghosts October 10-25, Northern Stage's magnificent Animal Farm October 28-November 1, Bouncers-the 90s Remix November 7- December 6, Beauty and the Beast December 16-January 24, director Michael Napier Brown's new version of Tess of the D' Urbevilles January 30-February 28.

LEICESTER Haymarket (0116 253 9797) Travels With My Aunt September 30-October 4 is Giles Havergal's four-man adaptation of Graham Greene's comic novel, Hull Truck arrive with John Godber's health farm comedy in Gym and Tonic October 7-11, Sondheim's Into the Woods October 24-November 22, The Sound of Music December 5-January 31.

Studio Tamasha's A Tainted Dawn September 30-October 4 (see Birmingham), Wild Iris in Ged McKenna's story of unacceptable love in early 20th century Britain The Farmer's Bride October 9-11, The Wrestling School bring Howard Barker's Wounds to the Face October 14-18, Border Crossings offer Asian theatre traditions on Twelfth Night October 21-25, while local Asians perform Bollywood Nights November 4-8, and Indefinite Articles bring a version for 4-7s of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio December 3-January 2.

NOTTINGHAM Playhouse (0115 941 9419 ) hosts The National Theatre of Brent's new show, Dr Desmond Olivier Dingle's (aka Patrick Barlow) The Mysteries of Sex October 9-November 1. A Cow. A Moon. A Full Stop October 30-November 2 at a mystery Nottingham venue is a creative mix of Playhouse director Martin Duncan and artist Duncan MacAskill; audiences are required, among other things, to tie back long hair and never put anything back into a bottle or jar. Experiment is alive and well in Nottingham, to whose NOW Festival this event contributes. Black Theatre Co-operative also joins forces with the theatre for Ray Shell's adaptation of his novel of crack addiction in the American black middle-class, Iced November 13-29. Aladdin December 6-January 24.

DERBY Playhouse (01332 363275) 'Tis Pity She's A Whore to October 18 - apparently 'revised' by director Jennie Darnell - James Robson's new play in which dream romance faces the mother-in-law, Mr Wonderful October 24-November 15, Sleeping Beauty November 29-January 24.

Studio: new plays festival October 10-November 8, with Jeffrey Hatcher's Three Viewings, comic monologues in an American funeral parlour, in rep. with a triple bill of Sarah Phelps' view of overheating on the fast track in publishing, The Subtle Art of Boiling Lobsters, Nick Wood on lonely hearts with Female, 29, GSOH and Linda McLean's Price of a Good Dinner, about legacies and calories.

WEST MIDLANDS AND SOUTHERN WALES

CARDIFF Sherman (01222 230451) Arnold Wesker double-bill The Mistress and Break, My Heart to October 4 - love, trouble and strife in and out of marriage, Edward Thomas's go west older man play House of America October 15-25, from Fiction Factory (ex-Y Cwmni), Charlotte's Web November 19-January 10, E. B. White adapted by Joseph Robinette.

Arena: Made in Wales theatre company bring Baywatch Cymru October 8-11; 14-18, and for up to 7s, Louis-Dominique Lavigne's story with a secret Ten Tiny Toes December 1-27.

MILFORD HAVEN Torch (01646 695267) The Importance of Being Earnest October 14-25, Hansel & Gretel November 27-January 3, Dancing at Lughnasa February 3-14.

WORCESTER Swan (01905 27322) Emlyn Williams Night Must Fall October 2-18, Talking Heads (A Chip in the Sugar, Bed Among the Lentils and - to be confirmed - A Lady of Letters) October 30-November 15, Alice in Wonderland December 1-January 3.

COVENTRY Belgrade (01203 553055) Simon Brett murder play Silhouette September 29- October 4, followed by Oldham'smusical Alfie October 7-11, Bill Naughton's novel adapted with John Cameron's music and Eden Philips' words, Tap Dogs hoof it October 13-18, followed by Newbury Watermill's Far from the Madding Crowd October 20-25, then a homegrown production of Romeo and Juliet October 30-November 15. From farther afield Brecht's good woman is moved from Setzuan to become Johannesburg Market Theatre's Good Woman of Sharkville November 18-22, adaptation by Gcina Mhlophe and director Janet Suzman. Another good woman for Christmas: Cinderella December 2-January 24.

BIRMINGHAM Repertory Theatre (0121 236 4455) Bob (Forbidden Planet) Carlton's 60s musical Keep on Running to October 4, the Rep's youth theatre alongside professional actors, Julius Caesar October 24-November 22, The Snowman December 5-January 24.

Studio: Tamasha Theatre Company on the partition of India and Pakistan A Tainted Dawn October 7-25; Soulfires allows three young directors to work on plays about race and gender: Athol Fugard's Playland , Amiri Baraka's Dutchman, and Sally's Rape by Robbie McCauley. Andrew Alty's The Road to Hell November 24-29 is about disaffected youth and victimisation; it comes in after a tour of the region October 29-November 22 - details from the box office. Nick Stafford's The Whisper of Angels' Wings December 4-20 shows how a farming accident affects two Staffordshire families in 1914.

North staffordshire New Victoria (01782 717962) Chris Martin's adaptation of Oliver Twist to October 4, then Bob Carlton's rock song, sci-fi Tempest-based Return to the Forbidden Planet October 8-18; November 5; 7-8; December 29-January 10; 26-31, Arms and the Man October 22-November 1; 10-22, John Kirpatrick's music adorns Jan Page's Aladdin November 26-28; December 1-5; 8-19; 22-27; January 13-24. The Tempest itself follows March 4-April 4.

NORTH-WEST/NORTH WALES

CHESTER Gateway (01244 340392) Romeo and Juliet to October 11 (schools' matinees with associated education work on September 30, October 1-3, 7-10), the play of the film of the book as Sean O' Connor adapts Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac's story Vertigo October 24- November 15, Stuart Paterson adapts Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine November 29- January 10.

MOLD Theatr Clwyd (01352 755114) Anthony Hopkins Theatre Equus to October 11; October 31-November 5; 13-19; 27-29, Manon Eames adapts Alexander Cordell's trouble up at t' Welsh mills novel Rape of the Fair Country October 16-30; November 6-12; 20-26, Peter Barnes' version of A Christmas Carol December 5-January 17.Emlyn Williams Theatre Abigail's Party September 24-October 11; 31-November 5; 13-19; 27- 29, Entertaining Mr Sloane October 15-30; November 6-12; 20-26. Christmas brings Peter Rowe's and Alan Ellis's musical update of Cinderella - The Panto With Soul December 4-January 17. All except the Christmas productions have further dates next year.

Studio 2 Oily Cart in a gentle show for under 5s A Peck of Pickled Pepper December 17-31.

LIVERPOOL Everyman (0151 709 4776) Brothers of the Brush to October 24 (see Southampton), Macbeth November 4-8 (at Liverpool Royal Court), Nyeusi Theatre Company in Maurice Bessman's That Golden Moment November 12-15, about a young man seeing boxing as the way off the ropes to a better life, Rockin' Robin and the Babes of Halewood November 27-January 31, Kaboodle Theatre in Twelfth Night February 17-March 21.

Playhouse (0151 709 8363) Godber, Godber and Thornton rub along together in repertory with Bouncers and Shakers to October 11, then Barbara Dickson reveals The Seven Ages of Woman October 13-25, Rebecca November 5-29, The Wizard of Oz December 4-January 3.

MANCHESTER Library Theatre (0161 236 7110) Sondheim musical Company to October 18, Ronald Harwood conducts an inquest into the artist's social responsibility in the examination of a German conductor's possible Nazi sympathies in Taking Sides October 23-November 22, Charles Way's beautiful play The Sleeping Beauty November 28-January 17, Brecht on Nazis in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui February 6-March 7.

Wythenshawe Forum: Contact Theatre Company in A Midsummer Night's Dream October 9-25 David Wood's play of Babe, The Sheep-Pig December 2-January 17, Besht Tellers in Angels and Demons January 20-25.

Royal Exchange (0161 833 9833) Much Ado About Nothing to November 1, Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea November 6-December 13, Coward's Present Laughter December 18-February 7, Shelagh Stephenson's play of 18th century science and morality, inspired by Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment with an Air-Pump February 12-March 7.

OLDHAM Coliseum (0161 624 2829) John Cameron and Eden Phillips make music out of Bill Naughton's novel in Alfie - The Musical to October 4, Terry Johnson's post-mortem on humour Dead Funny October 10-November 1, Kenneth Alan Taylor hits home for Christmas in Aladdin November 29-January 17, then Jimmie Chinn offers a brother and sister act in A Different Way Home January 30-February 21 - a one-man show.

BOLTON Octagon (01204 520661) take over the town's Albert Halls for Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers to October 4 and Gaslight October 8-24.

LANCASTER Dukes (01524 66645) Someone Who'll Watch Over Me October 9-November 1; Trevor Lloyd's Beauty and the Beast December 4-January 3 has music by the composer of the fine score for this summer's open-air promenade Alice. Gary Carter's biblical-sounding Acts and Revelations turns out to be Carter's own performance piece about the erstwhile celebrated Singing Nun.

YORKSHIRE/NORTH-EAST

SHEFFIELD Crucible (0114 276 9922) What the Butler Saw to October 18, King Lear October 31-November 29 with Richard Hurford's adaptation of Lear for 8-13s, Gorbelly November 11-21, various times, My Fair Lady December 12-January 17.

Studio in Lisa Evans' Slap October 9-11, from Crucible Education Department, young people from the United States and Cambodia meet up, Red Ladder bring Rosy Frodham's play about infatuation for 13s and above Crush, Brouhaha offer prohibition America in The Opium Eaters October 21-22, sound, vision and black humour in Third Angel's Experiment Zero November 10-11, Don't Laugh, It's My Life November 18-22 is Told By and Idiot's version of Tartuffe, writer in residence Judith Adams reworks The Little Mermaid December 10-January 3 for over 7s.

LEEDS West Yorkshire Playhouse (0113 244 2111) Quarry Theatre Of Mice and Men to October 4, South African Brecht in The Good Woman of Sharkville October 10-18, The Importance of Being Earnest October 24-November 22, Gilbert and Sullivan go Broadway in The Pirates of Penzance November 29-January 24.

Courtyard Theatre: Writer in residence Richard Hope's story of Norman, the Oldham Ulysses, Odysseus Thump to October 25, Tamasha in A Tainted Dawn October 28-November 1 (see Birmingham), Cheryl L West's Jar the Floor November 6-29 gives a female emphasis to the well-tried dramatic situation of a family homecoming, where celebration becomes clash of arms. Norwich Puppet Theatre visits Yorkshire with daytime doses of George's Marvellous Medicine December 22-January 10.

YORK Theatre Royal (01904 623568) The Odd Couple to October 11, Up 'n' Under October 17-November 8, then November 15-29 for 5-9s The Snow Queen daytimes and early evenings, Richard Hurford's version of Frankenstein in the darker hours, Berwick Kaler returns for Aladdin December 9-January 24.

SCARBOROUGH Stephen Joseph (01723 370541) Round: Resurrection of Ayckbourn bereavement comedy Absent Friends October 8-November 15, ugly duckling musical Honk!

November 28-January 3 (daytimes and evenings).

McCarthy: Polka Theatre for Children bring Stardog Returns December 2-6, for three to fives, tenth anniversary of this theatre's premiere of The Woman in Black December 11-February 7.

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE Northern Stage Company, Newcastle Playhouse (0191 230 5151) Stuart Paterson's Beauty and the Beast December 1-January 17.

Gulbenkian Studio: Hogwash November 20-January 17, for under 6s.

SCOTLAND MUSSELBURGH Brunton (0131 665 2240) Sharman MacDonald's When I Was A Girl I Used to Scream and Shout October 10-25, Mother Goose December 2-January 3.

EDINBURGH Royal Lyceum (0131 229 229 9697) Terry Johnson dissects humour in Dead Funny October 3-18, Much Ado About Nothing October 31-November 22, Stuart Paterson's new Hansel and Gretel December 5-January 10, The Glass Menagerie January 16-February 7, Juno and the Paycock February 13-March 7.

PERTH Theatre (01738 621031) Funny Peculiar October 3-18, As You Like It October 31-November 15, The Lion in Winter November 21-December 6.

DUNDEE Rep (01382 223530) theatre babel in Macbeth September 30-October 4, a rare visit of Romania's National Theatre of Craiova in Silviu Purcarete's magnificent staging of Phaedra October 13-16, Bill Findlay's Scots version of Gerhart Hauptmann's great naturalistic drama The Weavers November 5-22 (also at Glasgow Tramway November 26-29), Stuart Paterson's The Sleeping Beauty November 28-January 10. ROYAL RESIDENCIES NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE:Theatre Royal The Merry Wives of Windsor September 29- October 4, Much Ado About Nothing October 7-11,Cymbeline October 14-18. Newcastle Playhouse Little Eyolf September 29-October 4, Henry VIII October 6-11, Camino Real October 13-18.

Gulbenkian Studio The Mysteries (Creation and Passion in rep) October 7-11.

PLYMOUTH: Theatre Royal Hamlet October 27-November 1, Cymbeline November 4-8, The Merry Wives of Windsor November 11-15, Much Ado About Nothing November 18-22.

Pavilions The Spanish Tragedy October 28-November 1, Camino Real November 4-8, Little Eyolf , November 11-15, Henry VIII November 18-22.

Drum Everyman October 27-November 1, The Mysteries, (Creation and Passion) in rep November 4-15.

Revenge is sweet in this post-Stratford season. Matthew Warchus' cinematic Hamlet contrasts bleak black and white film of Hamlet and real dad with Claudius' smoochily colourful court.

Alex Jennings' prince starts by testing how far he dare go in upsetting the new king and ends with a youthful absoluteness. Michael Boyd brings the tricks of the Tron, his erstwhile Glasgow base, to Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy. The result is exhilarating, torn minds represented in fragments of projected text fragmented across uneven surfaces. Boyd adapts the opening and closing to emphasize the terrible continuity of revenge.

Gregory Doran's revival of Henry VIII. Top and tailed by golden display (Field of Cloth of Gold, birth of Elizabeth I), between come the dirty political tussles. Paul Jesson and Ian Hogg work hard to deepen their two dimensional roles while Jane Lapotaire makes Katherine of Aragon's grief profoundly moving.

Katie Mitchell has done a makeover on medieval mystery plays.

The two-part event explores God's existential agony -David Ryall presenting divinity as an avuncular schoolmaster who turns testy when challenged, struggling to give word to his creative urges in the beautifully staged opening, pondering the concept of God in man, something given flesh in the quiet close of part one.

Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni fail to turn Everyman into a commedia dell'arte comedy. Tennessee Williams' Camino Real is done very well, but its effortful non-naturalism remains. Ibsen's Little Eyolf sinks in Adrian Noble's tedious, brief production - he offers better value in an orientalised Cymbeline. For laughs there's The Merry Wives of Windsor, ex-light comedian Leslie Philips thriving as heavy comedian with Falstaff, while Boyd's Much Ado About Nothing explores the comedy's darker sides well but suffers from unfunny visual gags.

CLASSICAL- GO-ROUND

*Henry V RSC visit Manchester Palace September 30-October 4, Canterbury Marlowe October 14-18, Norwich Theatre Royal October 21-25, Bradford Alhambra October 28-November 1, Glasgow Theatre Royal November 25-29, Bath Theatre Royal December 2-6, Woking New Victoria December 9-13.

Richard III Northern Broadsides in trouble up at t' Tower Halifax Viaduct January 9-17, Oldham Coliseum January 19-24, Leeds West Yorkshire Playhouse January 26-February 7, Worksop Indoor Riding Stables February 9-11, Elsecar at Barnsley Building 21 February 12-14, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre February 16-21, Oxford Playhouse February 23-28, Barrow in Furness Forum 28 March 2-7, Scarborough Stephen Joseph March 9-14, Poole Towngate March 16-21.

Macbeth theatre babel at Guernsey Beau Sejour October 7-8, Jersey Arts Centre October 9-11, Coleraine Riverside October 16-18, Belfast Arts October 21-24, Downpatrick Down Leisure Centre October 25, Bangor Queen's Hall October 28, Enniskillen Ardhowen October 29-30, Cumbernauld Theatre November 3-5, Paisley Arts Centre November 6-7, Stirling MacRobert November 11-12, Kirkcaldy Adam Smith November 13, Melrose Wynd November 14-15, Edinburgh Netherbow November 20-22, Aberdeen Lemon Tree November 26-29.

*All's Well That Ends Well Oxford Stage Company visit Bury St. Edmunds Theatre Royal September 30-October 4, Stirling MacRobert October 7-11, Huddersfield Lawrence Batley October 14-18, Preston Charter November 5-8, Taunton Brewhouse November 11-15, Reading Hexagon November 18-22, Poole Towngate November 25-29, Cambridge Arts December 2-6.

Measure for Measure English Touring Theatre at Coventry Warwick Arts Centre October 7-11, Cambridge Arts October 13-18, Worthing Connaught October 21-25, Buxton Opera House October 28-November 1, Darlington Civic November 4-8, Dartford Orchard November 11-15.

Electra complex and great Greek Tragedy from Chichester to Richmond Theatre October 6-11, Bath Theatre Royal October 13-18.

The Country Wife Norwich Theatre Royal September 29-October 4, Edinburgh King's October 14-18, Woking New Victoria October 21-25, Richmond Theatre October 27-November 1, Cardiff New November 4-8, Sheffield Lyceum November 11-15, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Theatre Royal November 18-22, Bath Theatre Royal November 24-29.

The Magistrate Chichester takes to the road with Pinero's late Victorian comedy of impropriety among the judgmental class Richmond Theatre November 3-8, Guildford Yvonne Arnaud November 10-15, Bath Theatre Royal November 17-22, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Theatre Royal November 24-29.

*Cyrano de Bergerac RSC in centenary Rostand at Cambridge Arts September 30-October 4, Lincoln Theatre Royal October 7-11, Darlington Civic October 14-18, Poole Towngate October 21-25, Liverpool Playhouse October 28-November 1, Brighton Theatre Royal November 4-8, Blackpool Grand November 11-15, Oxford Playhouse November 18-22.

*Henry V puts visual spectacle into the Harfleur siege making Agincourt a sweatily downbeat occasion. Henry is a Second World War leader still learning his trade from World War One. He learns a lot from prowling among his troops, one of the best scenes in the show. The other is his steep learning curve on the wooing front. Oxford's All's Well comes unhelpfully as a multi-ethnic storytelling muddle in an apparently African marketplace. . Why this stew of accents? Is this Africa commenting on colonial France. Who knows. And soon, who cares? Cyrano is the death by chocolate of the dramatic canon. Rarely has it been richer than in the interplay of Alexandra Gilbreath's Roxane and Anthony Sher's fizzing, hardworking Cyrano. Go on, spoil yourself.

NOVEL TIMES

*Jane Eyre Director Polly Teale adapts for Shared Experience Oxford Playhouse September 30- October 4, Poole Towngate October 7-11, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre November 11-15, Richmond Theatre November 18-22, Chichester Festival November 25-29.

A Christmas Carol Compass tour from October 15, including Taunton Brewhouse October 28- November 1, Stratford-upon-Avon Swan November 4-8, Wythenshawe Forum November 12-15, Buxton Opera House November 18-22, Liverpool Neptune January 5-10, Sheffield Crucible Studio January 13-17, plus smaller-scale venues. Details: 0114 275 5328.

*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Bill Kenwright and Classic Theatre tour Matthew Francis's adaptation to Sevenoaks Stag December 15-January 3, Halifax Victoria January 19-24, Edinburgh King's January 26-31, Norwich Theatre Royal February 9-14, more dates to follow.

No Name Eastern Angles in Alastair Cording's version of Wilkie Collins's revenge tale with local setting touring East Anglia to November 29 01473 218202.

Animal Farm Northern Stage Company revives its magnificent physical theatre staging at Cambridge Arts October 6-11, Poole Towngate October 13-18, Northampton Royal October 28-November 1.

To Kill A Mockingbird Bromley Churchill to October 4, Sheffield Lyceum October 7-11, Woking New Victoria October 13-18, Nottingham Theatre Royal October 20-25, Cardiff New October 28-November 1, Aberdeen His Majesty's November 4-8, Wolverhampton Grand November 11-15, Darlington Civic November 18-22, Canterbury Marlowe November 25-29, Norwich Theatre Royal December 2-6, Bath Theatre Royal December 8-13.

Travels With My Aunt Salisbury director Rupert Goold takes Giles Havergal's witty four man version to Leicester Haymarket September 29-October 4, Farnham Redgrave October 6-11.

*Shared Experience's Bronte is brilliant, not just parading events (scenes are separate almost like a succession of sharply etched panels) but staging the novel's psychological probings. We start with two Janes, one in subdued clothes uttering the words of guilt, the other in flame bright orange hurling defiance. This second Jane is locked in the attic where she elides rebellious Jane into the first Mrs Rochester. As such she escapes and curls menacingly like a lick of flame about Jane's and Rochester's early embraces, then in the final moments she, with the other Jane, is included in Rochester's embrace. Polly Teale has adapted and directed one of the finest, most penetrating stage versions of a classic novel I can recall.

Huck Finn has its awkward moments but licks along well enough, skilfully giving weight to the matter of slavery without losing the lively pranks of the action. Alas, Newbury's Far From the Madding Crowd (also at Coventry-see repertories) is mainly a dutiful drag through the main events with little reason for being on a stage.

MODERN DRAMA

The Suicide Vibrant Communicado take Nicolai Erdman's comic satire to Musselburgh Brunton September 30-October 4, Glasgow Tron October 7-12, Motherwell Theatre October 14, Aberdeen Arts Centre October 17-18.

Ionesco's The Chairs occupies Theatre de Complicite and the Royal Court at Bath Theatre Royal October 22-25, Brighton Gardner October 28-November 1, Huddersfield Lawrence Batley November 5-8, Oxford Playhouse November 11-15.

Albee's best play after Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance visits Bath Theatre Royal September 29-October 4 and Cardiff New October 6-11 en route to London.

Gym and Tonic Hull Truck continue John Godber's health farm fiasco Billingham Forum September 29-October 4, Leicester Haymarket October 7-11, Hull Truck October 15-November 8, Stevenage Gordon Craig November 10-15, Croydon Ashcroft november 17-22, Mansfield Palace November 26-29.

*With Love From Nicolae. Lin Coghlan's play tours Darlington Civic October 2-4, Bracknell Wilde October 7-8, Halifax Victoria October 13-15, Liverpool Royal Court October 16-18.

Blue Heart is a new two-in-one play about homecomings by Caryl Churchill, directed by Max Stafford-Clark for Out of Joint Theatre Company at Liverpool Everyman October 21-25, Oxford Playhouse October 29-November 1, Cambridge Arts November 4-8, Cheltenham Everyman November 12-15.

Crazyhorse; Paines Plough takes Parv Bancil's new play (see Bristol) to Brentford Watermans October 16-18, Scarborough Stephen Joseph October 23-25, Edinburgh Traverse October 29- November 1, Colchester Mercury November 27-29, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Live December 2-4.

House of America by Welsh star Edward Thomas goes with Fiction Factory from Cardiff to Coventry Warwick Arts Centre October 30-November 1, Brecon Theatr Brycheiniog November 6-8, Swansea Grand November 12-15, Cambridge Arts November 18-22, Belfast Civic Arts November 25-29.

Babe, The Sheep-Pig is adapted from Dick King-Smith's novel by David Wood for Whirligig at Woking New Victoria November 17-22, Birmingham Hippodrome November 24-29, Manchester Wythenshawe Forum December 1-January17, Truro Hall For Cornwall January 26-31, and further dates in spring.

*Nicolae brings together British and (very fine) Romanian actors. A London-based Irish woman searches Romania for her ex-lover's family. After much unconvincingly hearty dialogue and pre-fabricated tension the turgid action acquires pace and Philip Osment's production a lot of shouting. This might not be necessary but for a perverse set that consigns intimate domestic scenes to upstage remoteness.

SMALL-SCALE TOURS

A selection of touring shows with contact numbers for further information:Beyond the Blue Horizon Masked marvels Trestle join the Britten Sinfonia for a music theatre piece about an individual's desertion of the world's over-populated places October 16-November 26. 0181 441 0349. Falling Together by Tom and Pauline Hadaway. What to do when the redundancies come? Simple, set the wife up in the bridewear business. Live Theatre reveal all around north east England to October 26. 0191 2612694.

*Fool House More Trestle, teamed up with Dutch performers for masked piece to November 1 0181 441 0349.

Home on the Range North Country Theatre tour northern England and Borders in Nobby Dimon's tale based on diaries of Vctorian women leaving unemployment in England for pioneering life in Oregon. to November 15. 01748 825221.

Le Mariage de Figaro: Theatre sans Fronti res in French with helpful visual performing style to November 12. 01434 606787.

Naked Wedding: Foursight with a physical theatre exploration of relationships to November 21. 01902 714257.

Orpheus ATC tour multi-linguist Kenneth McLeish's version, with influences from England, Greece and Ireland October 1-November 15. 0171 735 8311.

Squealin' Like A Pig: Oxfordshire Touring Theatre take Debbie Isitt's hard-hitting view of urban morality and violence for 12s and over round their region to November 1. 01865 778119.

Staying Here: NTC in Stewart Howson's holiday cottage comedy to November 8. 01665 602586 Weekend Breaks: Hull Truck among the generation gap in Godber's comedy to October 11. 01482 224800.

* In the multi-occupied Fool House characters grate on each others' nerves and eardrums, physical objects prove intractable and one man commits suicide. With the trick of having several storeys simultaneously on one level it seems like a masked encounter with Ayckbourn. There are funny scenes, with tricks played by 'invisible' goblins and an earnestly musical English student who goes to pot, and pop, under the influence of the woman beneath him. Such moments are intermittent in this Dutch-set co-production.

FOR THE YOUNG

Schools' tours with some public performances: Common Heaven by Noel Greig on human migration for 9-13s, Theatre Centre October 3- Dec 4, 0171 377 0379.

Egg: Theatre Alibi offer stories about puzzles for 5-12s. Public shows on many Saturdays to December 13. 01392 217315.

*George's Marvellous Medicine Norwich Puppet Theatre adapt Roald Dahl 01603 615564.

House Cleveland Theatre's new piece for 3-5s is about friendships; a kind of pre-school Odd Couple. 01642 634815.

Jack in the Junk Box for 3-5s Action Transport 0151 357 2120.

Seasonmaker Tam Tam show on seasons and the experiences of growing up for 4-7s - as is their play The Magic Sandals about friendship at Southampton Nuffield October 18 and Cambridge Drama Centre October 29. Seasonmaker tours widely. 0171 277 5874.

A Peck of Pickled Peppers Oily Cart for up to 5s (see Mold) 0181 672 6329.

Pinocchio Carlo Collodi's lively puppet is toured by Indefinite Articles for 4-11s with puppets, shadows,music and illusion. 01223 891622.

Wise Guys by Philip Osment for over-15s on male identity in modern society for Theatre Centre October 30- December 10. 0171 377 0379.

* In forty minutes Norwich Puppet theatre offer a range of puppets which expand, contract and gyrate amazingly. It's a cheerful, lively show at the fun end of this expert company's range.


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