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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th October 2014

The Royal Court Theatre/Headlong Theatre Company production of Jennifer Haley's The Nether, an intricate crime drama and a sci-fi thriller in an online virtual world, with Amanda Hale and Stanley Townsend, directed by Jeremy Herrin, will be remounted at the Duke of York's Theatre in February. It will be presented by Sonia Friedman and Scott M Delman and Tulchin Bartner.

The musical Mrs Henderson Presents, book and direction by Terry Johnson, lyrics by Don Black, music by George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain, adapted from Martin Sherman's screenplay of the 2005 film about the eccentric widow who bought the Windmill Theatre and launched a nude revue, choreography by Andrew Wright, will open a prospective pre West End season at the Theatre Royal Bath on 4th August next year. It is a co-production with Michael Harrison, Norma Heyman and John Reid.

The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith will officially reopen after its £16.5m redevelopment with the musical Bugsy Malone, book by Alan Parker, music and lyrics by Paul Williams, adapted from the 1976 film, about rival gangsters in Prohibition era New York, with all the roles played by children, directed by Sean Holmes, with choreography by Drew McOnie, on 11th April.

The London International Mime Festival will run from 8th to 31st January, featuring companies from around the world spanning the full range of visual theatre, including leading exponents of mime, animation, circus, puppetry, clowning, juggling and vaudeville, together with a programme of talks and workshops. Performers will include British Theatre Ad Infinitum with Light, picturing an Orwellian future where a totalitarian regime monitors the thoughts of its citizens through implants; American Basil Twist with Dogugaeshi, a spectacular visual journey inspired by the Japanese art of creating illusions through perspective; the French/Japanese collaboration Compagnie 111 / Aurélien Bory / Kaori Ito with Plexus, in which, entrapped by 5,000 brilliantly lit strings, a warrior-woman conquers her environment so that she floats, like a black angel; Belgian Circus Rinaldo with Amortale, mixing tragedy, clowning, opera, circus and marionettes; and the New Zealand/Finland collaboration Thomas Monckton / Circo Aereo with The Pianist, centred on, in, under and around a grand piano. Further information can be found on the LIMF web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Raymond Gubbay's arena production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly, in a translation by Amanda Holden, set in a Japanese water garden, directed by David Freeman, will return to the Royal Albert Hall from 26th February to 15th March.

New York TheatreNet: Roundabout Theatre Company will present the Fiasco Theater production of the musical Into The Woods, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, in which characters from a number of fairytales don't live happily ever after, directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, opening at the Lara Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, opening on 22nd January. The Elevator Repair Service will perform their adaptation of the first section of William Faulkner's stream of consciousness novel The Sound And The Fury, the Southern Gothic tale of the decay and fall of an aristocratic family, with Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Randolph Curtis Rand, Greig Sargeant, Kaneza Schaal, Susie Sokol, Lucy Taylor, Tory Vazquez and Ben Williams, directed by John Collins, opening at the Public Theater on 21st May. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Tangram Theatre Company will stage Yevgeny Schwartz's The Dragon, adapted and directed by Daniel Goldman, using the tale of a Dragon slaying knight as a satire about Stalinism, from 16th December, playing alongside John Hinton's Albert Einstein: Relatively Speaking, a light hearted excursion into one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, performed by John Hinton and Jo Eagle, directed by Daniel Goldman, from 20th December, at Southwark Playhouse, at the Elephant and Castle.

The Winter season at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre will include in the Main House: Mary Chase's Harvey, a comedy in which a man befriends a 6ft 3in rabbit that only he can see, with James Dreyfus, opening on 10th February; David Seidler's The King's Speech, from which the film was adapted, about how a speech therapist helped King George VI to overcome his stutter, with Ray Coulthard and Jason Donovan, directed by Roxana Silbert, opening a national tour on 26th February; Jim Cartwright's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, about a mousey girl who lives through impersonating singers such as Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey, directed by James Brining, opening on 19th May, a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse; in the Door: the premieres of Steven Camden's Back Down, in which a mountain climbing trip tests more than physical stamina, from 27th February; and Geoff Thompson's The Pyramid Texts, a one man play about a Glaswegian boxer, performed by James Cosmo, from 26th May; and in the Studio: the premiere of Steven Thompson's Feed The Beast, in which a Prime Minister who wants to ignore the press finds that it is impossible, directed by Peter Rowe, from 16th April, a co-production with the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich.

Antic Face will stage a site specific production of Euripides's Hippolytos, translated by Frederic Raphael and Kenneth Mcleish, with Emma Amos, Emma Hall, Martin McGlade and David Shields, directed by Charlie Parham, in the Colepit, in the tunnels beneath the Victoria & Albert Museum, accessed from the Exhibition Road Tunnel, from 1st November.

The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh will stage the premiere of Iain Finlay MacLeod's The Devil Masters, a surrealist black comedy in which two lawyers are confronted with real life crime, directed by Orla O'Loughlin, opening on 10th December.

The Rumour Machine says: that Sleepless In Seattle - The Musical, book by Jeff Arch, music by Robert Scott, lyrics by Brendan Cull, adapted from the 1993 rom-com with a denouement on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, directed by Sheldon Epps, which premiered last year at the Pasadena Playhouse, is seeking finance for a West End production late next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.


Opening This Week

The Scottsboro Boys - Garrick
The Broadway musical by Kander and Ebb about the 1930s Scottsboro Case, in which a group of African American teenagers in Alabama were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.
Neville’s Island - Duke of York’s
Adrian Edmondson, Miles Jupp, Neil Morrissey and Robert Webb in Tim Firth's comedy relating the misadventures of four out-of-condition, out-of-their-depth businessmen on an out-of-control ‘team building’ exercise.
Memphis The Musical - Shaftesbury
Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight in the Broadway musical telling the true life inspired story of a white radio disc jockey in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950's, with a passion for rhythm and blues, who falls in love with a black singer.


First Nights

20th - The Scottsboro Boys - Garrick
21st - Neville’s Island - Duke of York's
23rd - Memphis The Musical - Shaftesbury
23rd - ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore - Wanamaker
28th - Sunny Afternoon - Harold Pinter
29th - Romeo And Juliet - National Temporary
3rd - Dance ‘Til Dawn - Aldwych
4th - John - National Lyttelton
5th - Made In Dagenham - Adelphi
6th - 2071 - Royal Court
12th - White Christmas - Dominion


25th - Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games - London Palladium
25th - Teh Internet Is Serious Business - Royal Court
28th - James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock - National Olivier
29th - James II: Day Of The Innocents / James III: The True Mirror - National Olivier
1st - Evita - Dominion
14th - Romeo And Juliet - National Temporary
15th - 2071 - Royal Court