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14 Franc Ashman and

14 Franc Ashman and Hattie Ladbury in Nine Night. Photo: Helen Murray. TKTS – OFFICIAL LONDON THEATRE TICKET BOOTH IN LEICESTER SQUARE If you are visting London and looking for things to do this May, make your first stop the TKTS booth, based at the Clocktower in Leicester Square. The Official London Theatre Ticket Booth is famous for its excellent on the day deals and wide range of London shows available to buy in person. Whether you’re looking for a musical, play, opera or ballet, the friendly team, made up of genuine theatre fans, can offer advice on buying tickets 7 days a week! Best of all, because the booth is run by the Society of London Theatre any profits made are reinvested straight back into supporting the theatre industry. NINE NIGHT Dorfman Traditionally, the nine night is an elaborate and poignant gathering to offer emotional support to the bereaved and say farewell to the deceased, but in Natasha Gordon’s lively, funny and ultimately touching debut play it is, instead, all set to cause recent grandmother Lorraine a whole load of stress as the family descend to commemorate the death of her own mother, Gloria. When the play begins, Gloria – one of the Windrush generation – is just about hanging on, unseen upstairs in her London house. Lorraine (Franc Ashman) has given up her job to care for her in her final days, but her businessman brother Robert (Oliver Alvin-Wilson) and interfering Aunt Maggie (an absolute hoot in Cecilia Noble’s scene-stealing performance, dismissing any possibility of cremation with an emphatic ‘we don’t cook our people’ and regularly calling on Jesus) both want their say when it comes to saying a final goodbye. Gordon leaves several plot strands unexplored, but family disagreements, Caribbean customs and rituals and changes over the generations are all exposed here, including the grieving reluctance of British born Lorraine to let the spirit of their mother pass, and the emotional outburst of Michelle Greenidge’s Trudy, the eldest daughter left behind in Jamaica. Gloria may be dead and gone, but her descendants live on and Roy Alexander Weise’s entertaining, emotional, powerfully acted and timely production, currently only scheduled for a short run, definitely deserves an afterlife. Louise Kingsley WORLD PREMIERE OF NIGHTFALL AT THE BRIDGE THEATRE Barney Norris’ Nightfall, directed by Laurie Sansom and starring Ophelia Lovibond (Lou), Ukweli Roach (Pete), Claire Skinner (Jenny) and Sion Daniel Young (Ryan) continues at the Bridge Theatre booking until 26 May. For this world premiere, Nightfall has designs by Rae Smith, lighting by Chris Davey and sound by Christopher Shutt with music composed by Gareth Williams. On a farm outside Winchester, Ryan struggles to make a living off the land. His sister Lou has returned home after the death of their father to support Jenny, their formidable mother. Not so long ago, when a neighbour's Labrador strayed onto the farm, their dad reached for his shotgun. Now, when Lou's boyfriend Pete reappears, flush with money from his job at an oil refinery, Jenny fights to hold her children to the life she planned for them. Box Office telephone 0333 320 0051. LAST CHANCE TO SEE GORE VIDAL’S POLITICAL THRILLER THE BEST MAN After opening to critical acclaim and extending its West End run, audiences have just two weeks left to catch Gore Vidal’s sharp political drama The Best Man, before it closes on 26 May at the Playhouse Theatre. Astonishingly, The Best Man, which was written and produced nearly 60 years ago, is just as politically pertinent as the day it was written. Martin Shaw is William Russell, esteemed ex-Secretary of State and US presidential candidate, with something of a philandering reputation. Jeff Fahey is Joseph Cantwell, an ambitious populist newcomer, opposing Russell for the party nomination. Running neck and neck, the only thing that might separate the candidates are endorsements from a respected Ex-President (Jack Shepherd) and party big-wig (Maureen Lipman). But where does compromise end and corruption begin? The play mirrors the all-too-often unscrupulous world of politics. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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