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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th May 2015

The next season at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, from November, will include Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, all written by Shakespeare to be staged in the indoor Blackfriars Theatre, plus the return of Ellen Terry With Eileen Atkins, featuring the Victorian actress's thoughts on Shakespeare's portrayal of women, adapted and performed by Eileen Atkins.

The Society Of London Theatre is presenting the 18th Kids Week in the West End, designed to introduce young people to the theatregoing experience, with thousands of free tickets and special events. Once again this year it will run for a whole month, from 1st to 31st August. Children between 5 and 16 can go free (when accompanied by a paying adult) to over 40 West End shows, with up to 2 additional children at half price. There will be accompanying events taking place, including backstage tours, workshops, classes, storytelling and 'meet the cast' opportunities. There are also freebies and discounts at restaurants, and on travel and accommodation packages. Booking opens on 16th June.

The musical The Three Little Pigs, by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, a contemporary retelling of the classic tale, with Simon Webbe, Gareth Gates, Leanne Jones, Taofique Folarin and Alison Jiear, directed by Anthony Drewe, with choreography by Ewan Jones, will play daytime performances at the Palace Theatre from 5th August to 6th September.

The autumn season at Hampstead Theatre, at Swiss Cottage, will include the premieres of Ian Kelly Mr Foote's Other Leg, a tale of murder, comedy, tragedy, and the establishment of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, involving Samuel Foote, the one-legged superstar of Georgian London, with Simon Russell Beale, directed by Richard Eyre, opening on 21st September; and David Hare's The Moderate Soprano, charting John Christie's struggle to establish an opera house at his estate at Glyndebourne in the 1930s, with Roger Allam, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opening on 29th October.

The Donmar Warehouse will stage Abi Morgan's Splendour, about four women who wait for a dictator in an unnamed eastern European country, with Sinead Cusack, Zawe Ashton and Michelle Fairley, directed by Robert Hastie, in August.

New York TheatreNet: The Broadway League has announced that Broadway shows broke all-time attendance and revenue records during the 2014/2015 theatre season running from 26th May 2014 to 24th May 2015, grossing $1.37bn up 7.6% on last year's $1.27bn, with 13.1m paid attendances, up 7.3% from 12.21m the previous year. In 2014/2015 there were 37 new productions, comprising 15 musicals (10 new and 5 revivals), 20 plays (11 new and 9 revivals), and 2 special events, performing for a total of 1,1626 playing weeks, up 8.7% from 1,496 the previous year, also setting a new record. Broadway attendance was more than 2.6m greater than the home attendance of New York and New Jersey's 10 professional sports teams combined.

Aliens Love Underpants, adapted and directed by Adam Bampton-Smith, from the children's book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, a tale of mischievous smalls-stealing Martians, with Abigail Carter-Simpson, Eve Pearson-Wright, Alex James Ellison and Mark Collier, choreographed by Emma Clayton, will play daytime performances at the Dominion Theatre from 1st August to 5th September.

CURTAIN UP!

Opening This Week

King John - Shakespeare’s Globe
Jo Stone-Fewings, Alex Waldmann and Tanya Moodie in Shakespeare’s rarely performed story of a monarch dealing with myriad competing claims to his throne, directed by James Dacre.

OVERTURES AND CURTAIN CALLS

First Nights

June
1st - King John - Shakespeare’s Globe
10th - The Red Lion - National Dorfman
15th - We Want To Watch - National Temporary
17th - The Motherf**ker With The Hat - National Lyttelton
18th - 1984 - Playhouse
23rd - An Oak Tree - National Temporary
24th - The Seagull - Regent’s Park Open Air
24th - Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical - Phoenix

Finales

May
31st - The Twits - Royal Court
June
7th - The Merchant Of Venice - Shakespeare’s Globe
14th - Peter Pan - Regent’s Park Open Air
20th - Just Jim Dale - Vaudeville
22nd - Light Shining In Buckinghamshire - National Lyttelton
27th - Beyond Bollywood - London Palladium
27th - American Buffalo - Wyndham’s
27th - King John - Shakespeare’s Globe