News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st April 2011

The Royal Shakespeare Company production of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, book by Dennis Kelly, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, about a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling, will be remounted in the West End in the autumn.

The musical Moby Dick! - A Whale Of A Tale, book and lyrics by Robert Longden, music and lyrics by Hereward Kaye, which features a St Trinians like group of schoolgirls and their head mistress (played by a man) staging Herman Melville's epic sea adventure story with limited resources in the school pool as a fundraiser, with Sarah Lark, Debbie Kurup and Michelle Bishop, directed and choreographed by Andrew Wright, will play at the Landor Theatre in Clapham from 27th April. The producers are Thomas Hopkins and Danielle Tarento.

David Mamet's latest play The Anarchist, about the governor of a women's prison and a lifer who is trying to convince her that she is ready for parole, will receive its world premiere in London in the autumn, directed by Rupert Goold. The producers are Playful Productions, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel.

Paines Plough is to build The Roundabout Theatre, a 150 seater in the round auditorium, with an integral lighting rig and sound system, which can be installed into venues where it tours. In a proscenium arch theatre it will sit on the stage with the iron in, in studios and arts centres it will sit on the floor, and it can even be installed in non theatre spaces. The theatre will be launched in October at the Crucible Studio in Sheffield with a season of world premieres comprising Nick Payne's One Day When We Were Young, a portrait of a love that spans a century; Duncan Macmillan's Lungs, in which love and morality do ferocious battle; and an as yet untitled project by Penelope Skinner.

The summer season at Waterloo East Theatre, under Waterloo East station, will include 47 Roses - An Evening With Peter Sheridan, written and performed by Peter Sheridan, conjuring up the memories and voices of his childhood in Dublin in the 1960's, opening on 4th May; the return of Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer, written and performed by Aidan Dooley, telling the life story of man who survived three expeditions with Scott and Shackleton, opening on 26th May; Prostitutes Marry In May: Two Queens, One Nation, written and performed by Miriam Cooper, about Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Jonathan Kemp, opening on 22nd June, a Play On Words Theatre production; and David Gilna's The Gift Of Lighting, telling the true story of a young man who was struck by lightning, opening on 21st July.

New York TheatreNet: Composer John Kander is collaborating with playwright Gregory Pierce on an as yet untitled 4 handed musical in 3 acts, telling 3 different stories of people confronting what it means to get what they want, which will receive a developmental staging at the Vineyard Theatre next year. 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 Theatre Clwyd in Mold will include 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, with Catrin Aaron, Remy Beasley, Simon Dutton, Betsan Llwyd and Llion Williams, directed by Kate Wasserberg, which opened on 31st March; and Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew, with Robert Blythe, Brendan Charleson, John Cording, Hedydd Dylan, Michael Geary, James Haggie, Sara Harris-Davies, Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, Daniel Lloyd, Steven Meo, Amy Morgan, Sion Pritchard, Joshua Richards and Simon Holland Roberts, directed by Terry Hands, from 6th May.

On The Casting Couch: Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Peter Eyre will be joined by Diana Rigg, Marty Cruickshank, Roberta Taylor and Peter Sandys Clarke in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, opening at the Garrick Theatre on 25th May; Dominic West, Penny Downie and Paul McGann will be joined by Amanda Drewe, Martin Hutson, Cai Brigden and Emma Hiddleston in Simon Gray's Butley, opening at the Duchess Theatre on 6th June; Felicity Jones will be joined by Alex Kingston, David Dawson, Finty Williams, Max Bennett, John Light, Paul Higgins and Ben Daniels in Friedrich Schiller's Luise Miller opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 13th June; and Kevin Spacey will be joined by Haydn Gwynne, Gemma Jones and Annabel Scholey in Richard III, opening at the Old Vic Theatre on 29th June.

The Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush is to stage two 'ring out the old, ring in the new' events as it prepares to move to its new home in the Old Shepherds Bush Library in October. Where's My Seat? will be an evening of 3 short plays that use the new space in different ways, by writers including Tom Wells and Deirdre Kinahan, based around 9 props chosen by the National Theatre, and stage directions devised by Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Grandage and Josie Rourke, directed by Tamara Harvey, from 15th June to 2nd July. This Is Where We Got To When You Came In, devised and performed by Non Zero One, will be an interactive journey through the old building that has seen four decades of performance, which will play from 15th to 30th September.

The spring season at the Mercury Theatre Colchester will include Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge, the story of a Brooklyn longshoreman who has raised his orphaned niece, but become infatuated with her, and jealousy transforms him from a respected, honorable man to a virtual stranger, shamed and broken by his own actions, with Tim Treslove, directed by Janice Dunn, from 14th April; and Simon Turley's Assumption, set in rural Ireland following the fortunes of a young single girl who falls pregnant without having committed the requisite sin, with Gillian Cally and Emily Woodward, directed by Dee Evans, from 26th May.

Forthcoming productions at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, will include Anton Burg's Bette & Joan, about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of the film Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, with Greta Scacchi and Anita Dobson, directed by Bill Alexander, opening on 5th May; and Frank Strausser's Park Avenue Cat, a comedy with one beautiful woman, two Alpha males, and a very confused therapist, directed by Glen Walford, opening on 30th June.

The Rumour Machine says: that the National Theatre production of Terence Rattigan's After The Dance, a satirical social drama about 1920s 'bright young things' and their failure to politically engage, with Nancy Carroll and Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Thea Sharrock, may transfer to Broadway; and that Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Miles and Douglas Henshall will star in Harold Pinter's Betrayal, the semi autobiographical play about adultery, directed by Ian Rickson, possibly at the Comedy Theatre in June. The Rumour Machine grinds on.