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‘Di’ lives on at Hampstead

London theater lines up its new season

LONDON — A world preem adaptation of two Chekhov tales and a main stage preem for Amelia Bullmore’s studio-theater hit “Di and Viv and Rose” will open the 2013 slate at London’s Hampstead Theater.

“Di and Viv and Rose” is the latest play from thesp-cum-scribe Bullmore, who won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her debut, “Mammals.” “Di,” a comedy about friendship and experience, represents the sixth collaboration between Bullmore and director Anna Mackmin.

Tamzin Outhwaite, the sole holdover from the play’s original run at Hampstead’s studio space, reprises her role as Di and is joined by Gina McKee (“King Lear,” “Notting Hill”) as Viv and BAFTA winner Anna Maxwell Martin (“Bleak House”) as Rose. Designed by Paul Wills (“Anna Christie,” “Finding Neverland”), the production runs Jan. 17-Feb. 23 and opens Jan. 23.

U.K. dramatist and helmer Nina Raine, whose own play “Tribes” had a hit run at Off Broadway’s Barrow Street Theater, returns to Hampstead to direct “Longing,” an adaptation of two Chekhov short stories by leading U.K. novelist William Boyd (“Any Human Heart”). Designed by Lizzie Clachan, this comedy of provincial life and hidden passion plays Feb. 28-April 13 with a March 7 press night.

Hampstead Theater, one of London’s leading off-West End houses, is currently presenting Howard Brenton’s historical drama “55 Days.” Its revival of David Hare’s Oscar Wilde bio-drama “The Judas Kiss,” starring Rupert Everett, transfers to the West End in January.

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