News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st September 2000

The first wave of London bound hits from the Edinburgh Fringe is on the way. The Donkey Show - A Midsummer Night's Disco, the Off Broadway blend of Shakespeare and 70's hits, opens a twelve week season at the Hanover Grand night-club in September. SpyMonkey will transfer Stiff - Undertaking Undertaking, in which three funeral directors conduct the ultimate wake, to the Battersea Arts Centre in October. Anna Zapparoli and Mario Borciani's Molly Bloom - A Musical Dream, the monologue from James Joyce's Ulysses set to music, is heading for the Jermyn Street Theatre in November. Green and Lenagan are looking for a West End theatre for Steven Berkoff's Messiah - Scenes From A Crucifixion. This year's message seems to be if you want to succeed - get a hyphen in your title. The Perrier Pick Of The Fringe Season dates will be at Her Majesty's Theatre on 1st, 8th and 15th October, the performers have yet to be announced.

Farceur supreme Ray Cooney has written a sequel to Run For Your Wife, his best play and biggest hit. Run For Your Wife Again continues the tale of a bigamist taxi driver trying to keep two wives happy, but eighteen years on there is a Romeo and Juliet twist, when the son from one marriage meets the daughter from the other. The show plays a try out season at the Theatre Royal Windsor from 24th October to 11th November prior to a potential West End transfer.

Glasgow Tramway is currently presenting the world premiere of a unique experience called True, the result of a collaboration between writer A L Kennedy, choreographer Kevin Finnan, circus skills creator Deborah Pope, sound designer Alain Baumann and installation specialist Rosa Sanchez. It takes the form of an installation and interactive performance, exploring emotional relationships at their most extreme, and the taboos of pain and excitement. Lucy Palmer is dead but is not forgotten, and the experience, taking place within four installations (one of which is a virtual dissecting room) examines the events which led to her demise. Audiences are invited to bring along a memento of something or someone they have lost, and to establish their own relationship to Lucy Palmer - whose name is curiously reminiscent of the recently deceased heroine of Twin Peaks. You can get a flavour of the event from the Tramway web site via the link from the Regional Theatres section of TheatreNet.

The previously mentioned production of Jean Anoulh's Mademoiselle Colombe opening on 6th October at the Bridewell Theatre will be the launch of a new project. The Birmingham Stage Company has formed a branch office under the title of the London Stage Company, which will present shows at the Bridewell, alternating transfers of BSC shows with new work. The premiere of Bridges And Harmonies, a new comedy by Oren Lavie about a painter, his lodger, a pianist and his wife, will follow on 13th November. The Bridewell will present Hot Ice, a cabaret of songs and sketches devised and directed by Clive Paget on Mondays from 13th November.

One of Off Broadway's longest running institutions is to receive a makeover on 18th October with the launch of Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey. Although the revue changes its parody songs continually to keep up with new shows as they open on Broadway, every so often creator and director Gerard Alessandrini gives it a complete overhaul, the last time being in 1998. Three new cast members, Charles Bergell, Felicia Finley and Danny Gurwin will join veteran Christine Pedi. The show played at various uptown locations in its fifteen year history before settling in the heart of the theatre district - literally within striking distance of its targets. It is now at the 187 seater Stardust Theatre downstairs in Ellen's Stardust Diner, next door to the Winter Garden Theatre at Broadway and 51st Street.

The autumn season at the Gate Theatre comprises three works about love. Shoot Me In The Heart, devised and performed by the company Told by an Idiot, runs from 19th September to 14th October. Inspired by the Argentinean short story De Eso No Se Hablo by Julio Llinas, it is a tale of love and loneliness in a small town, directed by Hayley Carmichael and Paul Hunter. Joanna Laurens The Three Birds, directed by Rebecca Gatward, plays from 19th October to 10th November. Based on Sophocles lost work Tereus, it tells the story of two sisters and the man who marries one, but desires the other. Love's Work, devised and directed by Mick Gordon and co-produced with the National Theatre Studio, runs from 16th November to 2nd December. It is a presentation of a collection of love stories collected by the Gate from friends and strangers over the past year.

On The Casting Couch: David Lan's Young Vic production of Julius Caesar opening on 20th September will feature Dorian Healy, Lloyd Owen, Robert Cavanagh, Marcus D'Amico, Simon Hunt, Envoy Deer, Jaye Griffiths, Daniel Roberts and Tom Bowles; and Shared Experience's A Doll's House, directed by Polly Teale at the New Ambassadors from 2nd November stars Anne-Marie Duff, Paterson Joseph, Pip Donaghy, Jude Akuwudike, Francesca Ryan and Eileen O'Brien.

The Theatre Royal Bath's West End bound production A Family Affair, starring Rik Mayall, Steven Pacey, Anne Reid and Susan Wooldridge opens 16th October. Andy de la Tour has adapted and directs Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri's Un Air de Famille, which was filmed in 1996. The play is a comedy which tells the story of a horrendous family get together. The Theatre Royal will mount Beau Brummell, a new play by Ron Hutchinson starring Peter Bowles, in another pre London venture next spring.

Roll Over Jehovah!, a new musical which presents the history of the world from the Creation to the present day from the Devil's perspective, plays at the New End Theatre Hampstead from 7th September to 15th October. Based on an original concept by Theolyn Cortens, the show has music and lyrics by Will Shaman and book by Tim Jarman. It features Richard Swerrun as Lucifer and Thor Kristinsson as Jehovah with Derek Bell, Graham Bill, Janet Parkinson, Paul Shay, Siren Turkesh and Michael Wareing. Adrian Hilton directs with choreography by Wayne Sleep. The producers are Adrian Hilton, AD Productions and Pluto Productions.

And Finally . . . While Art could not be described as the best play in the West End (it is more dramatic entertainment than play) it vies with The Graduate (of similarly dubious dramatic quality) for the title of Best Marketed Dramatic Event. Having worked their way through stand-up's and TV names, the SAS team of marketeers has come up with another cracking combination: Ken Campbell, John Fortune and Warren Mitchell. The rehearsals might be even more entertaining than the performances.