In the West End: 'Antigone,' 'Art' and 'Jane Eyre'

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LONDON -- Off-season travel means different things to different people. In London, it means theater.

The following is a sampling of performances currently running or planned for this winter:

  • "Antigone," the play by Sophocles, is presented in a new version directed by Declan Donnellan. After a short regional tour, it will run indefinitely at the Old Vic Theater starting Oct. 15. Nearest tube: Waterloo.
  • "Art," by Yasmina Reza, deals with what transpires between friends when one of them buys a work of art. The play, now running at Wyndham's Theater, won the Best New Comedy Award at both the 1997 Olivier Awards and the 1996 Evening Standard Awards. Nearest tube: Leicester Square.
  • "Comic Potential" is a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. Slated to open Oct. 13 with an indefinite run, it is set in the "foreseeable" future when the stars of television sitcoms have been replaced by "actoids." Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus.
  • "Copenhagen" is a new play by Michael Frayn. Set in 1941, it is about German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who makes a trip to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. Their work together had opened the way to the atom, but now they are on opposite sides of a world war. The production is at the Duchess Theater until Feb. 5. Nearest tube: Covent Garden.
  • "History of America Abridged" is a comedy by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, on stage at the Criterion until March 3. Presented by the Reduced Shakespeare Company with a cast of three actors, the play is a jaunt through 500 years of American history. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus.
  • "Jane Eyre," Charlotte Bronte's novel, was adapted and directed by Polly Teale. It is the dramatic story of poor, plain Jane who falls for the mysterious Mr. Rochester. It runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24 at the New Ambassadors Theatre. Nearest tube: Leicester Square.
  • "Three Days of Rain" is a play by Richard Greenberg. It is a poignant study of a brother and a sister unravelling the truth behind their father's death. The play opens Nov. 9 at Donmar Warehouse and will run until Jan. 22. Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • A wealth of information on London's theater scene can be found on the Web. One site, which offers performance schedules, is www.albemarle-london.com/art.html. The site is operated by Albemarle of London's West End Theater Guide.

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