THEATRE / Previews & First Nights

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THE SEAGULL

The great British actress Judi Dench plays the great 19th-century Russian actress Arkadina in the role Chekhov created for his wife, Olga Knipper. National Theatre, SE1 (071-928 2252). Previewing, opens Thursday.

RESOLUTION

The fruitful Talking Tongues collaboration between the director David Farr and the composer Murray Gold continues - this time Farr directs Gold's first play. BAC, SW11 (071-223 2223). Previewing, opens Thursday.

TAKARAZUKA]

Japanese theatrical phenomenon of cross- dressing girls performing Kabuki, gangster drama and high-kicking chorus lines. Coliseum, WC2 (071-836 3161). From 11 July.

DANGEROUS CORNER

Keith Baxter, whose 1993 production of Patrick Hamilton's Rope transferred to the West End, pits his wits against Priestley's almost contemporaneous thriller. Chichester Minerva Studio (0243 781312). From Thursday.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH ANGRY?

A play about the age of consent for homosexuals, written by Patrick Wilde, touched a sensitive nerve and sold out when first staged. Now in it's third incarnation and still counting. BAC, SW11 (071-223 2223). Opens Friday.

THE COUNTRY WIFE

Max Stafford-Clark's hard-edged interpretation of Wycherley's Restoration romp comes in from Stratford. RSC, The Pit, EC2 (071- 638 8891). Previewing, opens 12 July.

KISSING MARIANNE

Starving Artists present Godfrey Hamilton's latest exploration of emotion and passion among gay men, performed by the beguiling Mark Pinkosh. Drill Hall, WC1 (071-637 8270). From 12 July.

SHE LOVES ME

Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joe Masteroff's soft-hearted musical relies on human emotion rather than effects and technology to get its point across. Savoy, WC2 (071-836 8888). Previewing, opens 12 July.

WHEN LIGHTNING BREAKS

Musicians from the former Yugoslavia combine forces with the playwright Edward Blum to explore resurgent nationalism. Southwark Playhouse, SE1 (071-620 3494). Opens tonight.

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