THEATRE / First Nights

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The Independent Culture
The Matchmaker

Prunella Scales in Thornton Wilder's play. Festival Theatre, Chichester (0243 784437). Previews 4 Aug; opens 12 Aug.


Andy Crane and Gemma Craven in a revival of the Seventies musical. Barbican, EC2 (071-638 8891). Opens tonight.


Two people move in together. If the bed goes there and the table there, their life could change. Michael Frayn moves the furniture. With Iain Glen. Donmar, WC2 (071-867 1150). Opens tonight.

Charley's Aunt

Brandon Thomas's souffle comedy. York Theatre Royal (0904 623568). Previews 5 Aug; opens 6 Aug.

Julius Caesar

David Thacker directs a promenade performance of Shakespeare. The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon (0789 295 623). Opens 5 Aug.

The Country Wife

Words by William Wycherley; songs and music by Ian Dury and Micky Gallagher. Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon (0789 295 623). Previews tonight; opens 10 Aug.

The Tempest

Alec McCowen is Prospero in Sam Mendes' production. Royal Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon (0789 295 623). Previews 5 Aug; opens 11 Aug.