PG Critic's Choice tour to hit London high spots

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The 2014 Post-Gazette's Critic's Choice theater tour to London is set for March 9-16, when the daffodils and magnolias will be in bloom. Along with palaces, street life, museums, cathedrals and pubs, the trip features four plays and a chance to see more if you choose.

Our theme is, "there'll always be an England" -- on stage, at least.

• "Stephen Ward," Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical about the sensational Profumo Affair linking government figures with Christine Keeler and a Soviet attache, as the buttoned up '50s give way to the '60s. Richard Eyre directs.

• "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense," starring Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen as the ineffable Bertie and his unflappable manservant.

• "Strangers on a Train," a glossy, elaborate adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel and the famously sinister Hitchcock film, stars Laurence Fox, Jack Huston and Imogen Stubbs; though set in America, a very English theater noir.

• Those three are projected, though our tickets can't be positively confirmed until the new year. For our fourth play, we're staying flexible. Possibilities include "Mojo," starring Rupert Grint and Ben Whishaw; "Fatal Attraction," directed by Trevor Nunn; the remarkable Simon Russell Beale as "King Lear" at the National Theatre; or something yet to be announced.

Critic's Choice tours are informal, with two dozen or so people led by senior theater critic Chris Rawson. The group stays at the Bloomsbury Street Hotel, in walking distance of the British Museum and West End theaters, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.

You can choose to see more plays on your own or concentrate even more on London's other attractions. Each day there will be an optional guided tour, but you will also want to strike out on your own, using the bus and subway pass provided.

Included are round-trip air between Pittsburgh and London; transfers between the London airport and hotel; full English breakfast daily; welcoming dinner; four theater tickets; London bus and subway pass; a guided London walking tour; taxes, VAT and gratuities on included items and Mr. Rawson's guidance.

The basic tour price is $3,337, double-occupancy. The single supplement is $697. Registration requires a deposit of $500 per person and completed Reservation Request Form. All payments are to be made to Gulliver's Travels Inc., 460 S. Graham St., Pittsburgh PA 15232-1210. For further information, call Gulliver's at 412-345-7576. For information on the plays or London sights, call Mr. Rawson at 412-216-1944.

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