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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th November 2014

The National Theatre Of Scotland's 2015 season will include Compton MacKenzie's Whisky Galore, about Scottish islanders hiding the whisky they have liberated from a wrecked ship during the Second World War, adapted into Gaelic by Iain Finlay Macleod, from 9th April, a co-production with Gaelic company Robhanis; Cora Bissett's Rites, a verbatim piece investigating the deep-rooted cultural practice of female genital mutilation, directed by Yusra Warsama, from 5th May; Douglas Maxwell's Yer Granny, adapted from Roberto Cossa's Argentinean comedy La Nona, about a 100 year old granny who is eating her family out of house and home, directed by Graham McLaren, from 19th May; and Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat, a psychological thriller genre, dealing with themes of alienation, isolation and loss of spiritual values, adapted and directed by Laurie Sansom, from 19th June.

The spring season at the Bush Theatre, in Shepherds Bush, will include Marco Ramirez's The Royale, loosely based on the life American boxer Jack Johnson, exploring sporting heroes as cultural icons, directed by Madani Younis, opening on 18th March; James Graham's The Angry Brigade, a portrait of the terrorist group of the 1970s, directed by James Grieve, opening on 5th May, a co-production by Paines Plough and the Theatre Royal Plymouth; and the premiere of Rebecca Lenkiewicz's The Invisible, examining reforms to the provision of legal aid, based on interviews with people at all levels of the British justice system, opening on 8th July.

On The Casting Couch: James McAvoy will be joined by Ron Cook, Joshua McGuire, Kathryn Drysdale, Anthony O'Donnell and Serana Evans in Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class, opening at the Trafalgar Studios 1 on January 27th; Juliette Binoche will be joined by Obi Abili, Kirsty Bushell, Samuel Edward-Cook, Finbar Lynch, Patrick O'Kane and Kathryn Pogson in Sophocles's Antigone at the Barbican Theatre from 24th March; and Debroah Findlay, Stephen Mangan, Miles Jupp and Maggie Service will feature in Sam Holcroft's Rules For Living, opening at the National Theatre on 24th March.

Forthcoming productions at the King's Head Theatre in Islington will include the Charles Court Opera production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, directed by John Savourni, from 18th February; Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, the story of four drug addicts in 1980s Edinburgh, adapted by Harry Gibson, directed by Greg Esplin, opening on 20th March; Mrs Roosevelt Flies To London, exploring the public and hidden life of Eleanor Roosevelt, taken from her writings, written and performed by Alison Skilbeck, directed by Lucy Skilbeck, from 14th April; the stage premiere of the musical Shock Treatment, the sequel to The Rocky Horror Show, book by Tom Crowley adapted from the screenplay by Jim Sharman, music by Richard Hartley, lyrics by Richard O'Brien, directed by Benji Sperring, opening on 21st April, produced by Tarquin Productions; the premiere of Richard Cameron's The Flannelettes, about a karaoke group in a women's refuge, directed by Mike Bradwell, opening on 15th May; and Not A Game For Boys, about three cabbies in a local table tennis league, directed by Jason Lawson, from 10th June, produced by Cracking Up Productions.

New York TheatreNet: David Farr's The Heart Of Robin Hood, an athletic adaptation of the folk tale in which Maid Marion is the main character, with songs written and performed by the bluegrass-roots band Parsonsfield, directed by Gisli Orn Gardarsson, with associate direction and choreography by Selma Bjornsdottir, and Walter Bobbie as creative consultant, will open at the Marquis Theatre on 10th March. The show is currently touring in Canada with a cast let by Gabriel Ebert, Euan Morton, Izzie Steele and Christian Lloyd. The Catalyst Theatre production of Nevermore - The Imaginary Life And Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe, combining music, poetic storytelling and stagecraft to tell the life story of the Victorian writer of the macabre, written, composed and directed by Jonathan Christenson, with Gaelan Beatty, Shannon Blanchett, Beth Graham, Ryan Parker, Garett Ross and Scott Shpeley, choreographed by Laura Krewski, will open at New World Stages on 25th January. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The spring season at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, will include St John Hankin's The Last Of The De Mullins, an Edwardian play about a woman who defies her family and the traditions of the age, rejoicing in being a working mother and refusing to be tied to the institution of marriage, directed by Joshua Stamp-Simon, opening on 3rd February, produced by Stephen McGill and Joel Marvin; and the premiere of Giles Cole's The Heart Of Things, set in the aftermath of the 2010 general election, exploring family, ambition, love and loyalty, opening on 3rd March, produced by Close Quarter.

The 2015 season at the Royal Theatre in Northampton will include Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, the classic romance in which an ugly but romantic man woos the woman he loves for his handsome but dumb friend, in a translation by Anthony Burgess, directed by Lorne Campbell, opening on 7th April, a co-production with Northern Stage, Newcastle; the premiere of Arthur Miller's The Hook, written as a screenplay but never produced, adapted by Ron Hutchinson, about corruption in the New York docks, directed by James Dacre, opening on 9th June, a co-production with Liverpool Everyman Theatre; Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, a dystopian vision of a future world, in a new adaptation by Dawn King, directed by James Dacre, opening on 8th September, a co-production with the Touring Consortium Theatre Company; Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight, the psychological thriller set in Victorian London, about a wealthy woman being manipulated by her husband in order to steal her fortune, directed by Lucy Bailey, opening on 20th October; and Hans Chriatian Andersen's The Snow Queen, adapted by Georgia Pritchett, directed by Sarah Tipple, from 25th November, a co-production with Nuffield, Southampton; plus a site specific production of Shakespeare's King John, directed by James Dacre, in the Holy Sepulchre Church in Northampton, opening on 28th April, a co-production with Shakespeare's Globe.

Jane Nightwork Productions will stage Shaw's Women, a double bill by George Bernard Shaw, comprising Village Wooing, a reverse of Pygmalion, in which an upper class, educated man discovers the realities of the working world, and How He Lied To Her Husband, the story of a wife who has lost the poetry written for her by her lover, soon to be discovered by her husband, with Alan Francis, Josh Harper, Viss Elliot Safavi, Madeleine Hutchins and Mark Fleischmann, directed by Robert Gillespie, playing at the Tristin Bates Theatre, off Cambridge Circus, from 6th January.


Opening This Week

Hope - Royal Court
Tom Georgeson, Stella Gonet and Paul Higgins in the premiere of Jack Thorne’s political play attacking the squeeze on local government spending, directed by John Tiffany.
Peppa Pig’s Big Splash - Criterion
A new audience participation stage show featuring the puppet characters from the children’s television series plays a Christmas season following a national tour.
3 Winters - National Lyttelton
The premiere of Tena Stiviac’s portrait of an eclectic Croatian family held together by the courage to survive over a period of 60 years, from monarchy through communism to democracy, directed by Howard Davies.
The Wind In The Willows - Vaudeville
The Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre production of Kenneth Graeme’s story of the riverbank, using dance, song, music and puppetry, directed and choreographed by Will Tuckett, with narration by Alan Titchmarsh.


First Nights

2nd - Peppa Pig’s Big Splash - Criterion
2nd - Hope - Royal Court
3rd - 3 Winters - National Lyttelton
4th - The Wind In The Willows - Vaudeville
10th - Treasure Island - National Olivier
11th - Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 - Barbican Theatre
11th - Cats - London Palladium
11th - The Knight Of The Burning Pestle - Wanamaker
12th - Potted Sherlock - Vaudeville
16th - City Of Angels - Donmar Warehouse


29th - Henry IV - Donmar Warehouse
29th - Speed-the-Plow - Playhouse
7th - ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore - Wanamaker
20th - Electra - Old Vic