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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th August 2014

On The Casting Couch: Lucy Punch and Ben Mansfield will join Ross Boatman, Harriet Thorpe, William Chubb, Scott Karim, Nick Sampson, Joseph Wilkins, Robert Glenister, Rupert Vansittart, Andrew Woodall, Kellie Shirle, Iain Mitchell and Miles Mitchell in the transfer of the National Theatre production of Richard Bean's Great Britain, opening at the Haymarket Theatre on 10th September; and Lindsay Lohan will be joined by Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, opening at the Playhouse Theatre on 2nd October.

The Rose Theatre in Kingston will stage C S Lewis's The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, in which children evacuated to a country house during the Second World War find that a wardrobe is a portal to another world, adapted by Theresa Heskins, directed by Ciaran McConville, with choreography by Keith O'Brien, opening on 4th December.

The autumn season at Northern Stage in Newcastle will include David Ireland's I Promise You Sex And Violence, a contemporary class war satire about three broken people, who don't know what they are and don't know how to behave, with Keith Fleming, Reuben Johnson and Esther McAuley, directed by Lorne Campbell, from 5th September; Tennessee Williams's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, set at a birthday celebration during which hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family, adapted and directed by James Dacre, with Kim Criswell, Daragh O'Malley, Mariah Gale, Charles Aitken, Victoria Elliott, Matthew Douglas and Sean Murray, opening on 18th September, a co-production with the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and Royal & Derngate Theatres Northampton; Susan Mulholland's The Christmas Grump, a show for young children inspired by Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, directed by Mark Calvert, from 15th November; and Anthony Neilson's Get Santa!, with music by Nick Powell, who also collaborated on the story, about a 10 year old girl's mission to find the perfect family by enlisting the help of Santa Claus, directed by Lorne Campbell, from 1st December.

Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, which charts the story of twin brothers separated at birth and brought up in different circumstances who are reunited in tragedy, with Maureen Nolan, Kristofer Harding, Sean Jones, Mark Hutchinson, Tracy Spencer and Tim Churchill, directed by Bob Tomson, will open a national tour at the Cambridge Arts Theatre on 2nd September. The producer is Bill Kenwright.

New York TheatreNet: The recent John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington production of a revised version of the musical Side Show, book and lyrics by Bill Russell, music by Henry Krieger, telling the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stage stars during the Depression, with a cast headed by Erin Davie and Emily Padgett, additional book material and direction by Bill Condon, with choreography by Anthony Van Laast, will open at the St James Theatre on 17th November. The recent Public Theater production of the musical Fun Home, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori, adapted from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir about her relationship with her father in the family funeral home, directed by Sam Gold, with choreography by David Neumann, will be remounted at the Circle in the Square Theatre, opening on 22nd April. The original cast featured Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Roberta Colindrez, Beth Malone and Alexandra Socha. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by David Zinn, lighting by Ben Stanton, sound by Kai Harada, and projection by Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Andrew Whyment, Lee Anderson and Adam Foster's Long Story Short, which attempts to show the ever-increasing speed of our digital lives in an episodic, multi-stranded story, with Kevin Phelan, Cole Edwards, Louisa Roberts, Cliodhna McCorley, Tom Gordon, Fern McCauley and Eva-Jane Willis, directed by Andrew Whyment, will open at the Charing Cross Theatre, off Villiers Street, on 18th September. The producers are Squint, Steven M Levy and Sean Sweeney.

The 2014/2015 season at Theatre Royal Plymouth will include the premieres of James Graham's The Angry Brigade, a portrait of the terrorist group of the 1970s, directed by James Grieve, opening on 23rd September, a co-production with Paines Plough; Carl Grose's Grand Guignol, a black comedy, a demented, psychological thriller and an unrepentant splatter-fest, directed by Simon Stokes, opening on 13th October; D C Moore's Another Place, about four disperate characters' obsession to uncover the secrets of space, directed by Jo McInnes, opening on 10th November; Jack And The Beanstalk, with Bobby Davro, John Challis, Chico and Jeffrey Holland, from 19th December; and April de Angelis's After Electra from 29th January.

Forthcoming productions Upstairs At The Gatehouse in Highgate Village will include Bernado Stella's The Tree, a modern day Romeo and Juliet set amidst the terrible backdrop of a war-torn Sarajevo, directed by Will Seaward, opening on 29th August, produced by Cordial Productions; and Marie Jones's Stones In His Pockets, with Shane Sweeney and Niall Bishop playing all the characters in the tale of what happens when a remote part of Ireland gets a taste of Hollywood, with the arrival of a film company to shoot a new blockbuster, from 1st October, produced by Infinite Space Theatre.

Northern Ballet's 2014/2015 season will include Dracula, based on Bram Stoker's legendary vampire story, choreographed and directed by David Nixon, with music by Schnittke, Rachmaninov, Part and Daugherty; The Great Gatsby, adapted from F Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s novel about the destructive effects of the pursuit of money, choreographed and directed by David Nixon, scenario and co-direction by Patricia Doyle, music by Richard Rodney Bennett; Cinderella, choreographed and directed by David Nixon, scenario and associate-direction by Patricia Doyle, music by Philip Feeney; Peter Pan, telling J M Barrie's story of the boy who never grew up, choreographed and directed by David Nixon, co-direction by Patricia Doyle, music by Stephen Warbeck; the British premiere of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's production of Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot to the Prokofiev score; and Wuthering Heights, based on Emily Bronte's novel charting the doomed love affair of the free spirited girl and dark, brooding outsider, choreographed and directed by David Nixon, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg.

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Opening This Week

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OVERTURES AND CURTAIN CALLS

First Nights

August
28th - To Kill A Mockingbird - Open Air
September
1st - Punishment Without Revenge - Shakespeare’s Globe
3rd - Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games - London Palladium
4th - The Comedy Of Errors - Shakespeare’s Globe
10th - Great Britain - Haymarket
11th - King Charles III - Wyndham’s

Finales

August
23rd - 1984 - Playhouse
23rd - King Lear - Shakespeare’s Globe
23rd - Daytona - Haymarket
23rd - Porgy And Bess - Open Air
23rd - Great Britain - National Lyttelton
23rd - Skylight - Wyndham’s
24th - Antony And Cleopatra - Shakespeare’s Globe
24th - Holy Warriors - Shakespeare’s Globe
27th - A Small Family Business - National Lyttelton
30th - Let The Right One In - Apollo
30th - The Bodyguard - Adelphi
31st - Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part 2 - Garrick
31st - I Believe In Unicorns - Vaudeville
September
4th - Medea - National Olivier
6th - The Elephantom - New London
6th - Hetty Feather - Vaudeville
6th - Punishment Without Revenge - Shakespeare’s Globe
7th - The Tiger Who Came To Tea - Lyric
13th - The Pajama Game - Shaftesbury
13th - The Crucible - Old Vic
13th - To Kill A Mockingbird - Open Air