Letter From London: A Guide To Winter 2013 In The West End

London to Become Hub for China’s Yuan

For something sillier, and as English as warm beer and cricket whites, punters with a taste for nostalgia can opt for Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of Yorks, running from 30 October. Romantics will struggle to resist Jumpers for Goalposts, a touching gay love story among the players on a hopeless pub soccer team, by the rising young writing talent Tom Wells. It plays at the Bush the diminutive fringe new-writing venue with a mighty reputation from 26 November. Likely to be far knottier is nut, the new play by incendiary writing talent debbie tucker green. The lower-case styling of her name and the works title are indicative of her terse intensity; her previous pieces, jaggedly poetic dramas on subjects including urban street violence and domestic abuse, have been short, sharp and shocking. nut about which advance publicity reveals little, but which may, judging by the cryptic clues, have to do with identity and psychological disorder runs at the Shed, an experimental pop-up space at the National Theatre, from 30 October. Booking for it may be something of a blind date, but on tucker greens past form its well worth the gamble. For the more risk-adverse, three plays of established excellence return. Arnold Weskers Roots, the centrepiece of his great Socialist trilogy, is at the Donmar. And Mojo, the play about London gangland that made the name of writer Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) and was a key text in the hugely influential 1990s In-Yer-Face drama movement, returns to the West End, staged by Ian Rickson, who directed the original Royal Court production. The cast includes Ben Whishaw, and previews kick off 26 October at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Finally, in November London will extend an especially warm welcome to one transatlantic visitor. Sarah Ruhls 2009 drama In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, already seen at Victory Gardens in Chicago, gets its London premiere at the St James Theatre, a stones throw from Buckingham Palace. Brilliantly incisive, touching, witty and wise, it explores motherhood, gender politics, feminine desire and class, within the framework of a period drama, set in 1880s New York, about the medical use of vibrators to treat so-called hysteria. Will it be the seasons climax?

Osborne’s trip marks a return to normal exchanges after Beijing derailed a planned visit by Prime Minister David Cameron in April in retaliation for the British leader having met the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Investors in London will be allowed to apply for licenses to invest yuan directly into China, Osborne announced. He said the Chinese central bank set an initial quota for London of 80 billion yuan ($12.7 billion). Tuesday’s announcement put London ahead in the race by global financial centers to gain a share of yuan-denominated business as Beijing gradually expands use of its currency for trade and investment. Hong Kong was the first financial center outside mainland China where trading of yuan was authorized. London banks have traded yuan since early last year. “Now London is a major global offshore center for the trading of the Chinese currency,” Osborne told reporters. Britain and China signed an agreement in June to have their central banks swap 200 billion yuan for 20 billion pounds. The European Central Bank and Beijing announced a similar agreement this month to swap 350 billion yuan for 45 billion euros. That suggested Frankfurt also might be in to become a center for business denominated in yuan. Also Tuesday, Osborne said China’s state-owned banks will be allowed to expand their operations in Britain by setting up wholesale branches. Cameron was forced to abandon his April trip after China said he would not be able to meet senior officials. Some lower-level meetings also were put on hold.