News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st October 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the current Royal Court Theatre production of Bruce Norris's black comedy Clybourne Park, charting how change overtakes an American neighbourhood, along with attitudes, inhabitants and property values, between 1958 and 2008, with Martin Freeman, Lucian Msamati, Sophie Thompson, Steffan Rhodri, Sam Spruell, Lorna Brown and Sarah Goldberg, directed by Dominic Cooke, will transfer to Wyndham's Theatre, opening on 8th February.

The autumn season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough will include the premieres of Fiona Evans's The Price Of Everything, which looks at the home and family life of a millionaire businessman, with Andrew Dunn, Julie Riley and Jodie Comer, directed by Noreen Kershaw, opening on 29th October; The Hunt For The Scroobious Pip, by Andrew Pollard, based on the nonsense writings of Edward Lear, directed by Adam Sunderland, from 19th November; and Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, adapted and directed by Chris Monks, opening on 1st December.

Peter Quilter's End Of The Rainbow, a play about the last days of Judy Garland featuring some of her best known songs, with Tracie Bennett, Hilton McRae, Stephan Hagan and Robin Browne, directed by Terry Johnson, seen earlier this year at the Royal Theatre in Northampton, will open at Trafalgar Studios 1 on 22nd November. The producers are Lee Dean, Jenny Topper, Laurence Myers, Charles Diamond and Hilary Williams in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

The Traverse Theatre production of Midsummer, written and directed by David Greig, with music by Gordon McIntyre, which tells the story of an ill matched couple in a crazy journey around Edinburgh over a weekend, seen earlier this year at the Soho Theatre, will play at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn from 30th November, with the original cast of Cora Bissett and Matthew Pidgeon, as part of a national tour.

New York TheatreNet: The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Brian Dennehy, Linda Lavin and Fritz Weaver, director Michael Blakemore, writer Caryl Churchill, conductor/musical director Paul Gemignani and director/writer James Lapine, with director/writer Joseph Chaikin inducted posthumously. The 40th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 24th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Tommy Steel is to star in Scrooge, Leslie Bruicusse's musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, directed by Bob Tomson, with choreography by Lisa Kent, which opens a regional tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 18th October. The producer is Bill Kenwright

On The Casting Couch: Deborah Findlay, Sinead Matthews, Leo Bill and Kyle Soller will head the cast of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, opening at the Young Vic on 17th November

A revised version of the Broadway show Big The Musical, book by John Weidman, music by David Shire, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr, adapted from the 1988 film, will receive its British premiere featuring Tom Chambers, directed by Ian Talbot, opening a prospective pre West End tour at the Liverpool Empire on 18th February. It tells the story of a 12 year old New York boy who wishes he was a grownup, but when he wakes up one morning transformed into a 30 year old man, finds that there is more to being an adult than he realised. The producers are James Milton and Paul Morrissey.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School For Scandal, a comedy exploiting the rumour, conspiracy and fraudsters of 18th century life, directed by Deborah Warner, will play at the Barbican Theatre from 11th May to 18th June.

As part of its Masterclass programme for young people who have an interest in theatre, or are keen to pursue a career in the arts, the Theatre Royal Haymarket is staging TheatreCraft 2010, a day long careers event at the London Coliseum on 22nd November, with workshops, demonstrations, talks and displays to enable young people to find out about non-performing careers in theatre. Prior to this, the autumn Masterclass season will include a talk by Willy Russell on 15th October. Sessions begin at 2.30pm and last around two hours. Events are open to people aged between 17 and 30 and mature students, and are free of charge - but there is a refundable deposit required confirming the booking. Those aged over 30 who would like to attend can now subscribe to a Friends scheme. Further information and online booking can be found on the Masterclass web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Edinburgh Fringe show West End Blues Brothers - Live, a concert featuring songs from the film and stage show, devised and produced by Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook, directed by Patrick Wilde, will open at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, on 15th October.

The autumn season at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester will include John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath, the Depression Era tale of a family that leaves its Oklahoma home in search of a new life in California, adapted by Frank Galati, with Christine Absalom, Ignatius Anthony, Roger Delves-Broughton, David Tarkenter and Tim Treslove, directed by Tony Casement, from 15th October; a double bill of Harold Pinter's A Slight Ache, in which a silent stranger begins to unravel a couple's deepest desires and darkest fears, and The Lover, a darkly comic tale of the necessity and danger of fantasy, with Graeme Brookes, Dee Evans, Gus Gallagher, Gina Isaac and Andrew Neil, directed by Gari Jones, from 4th November; and Aladdin, written and directed by Janice Dunn, with Elizabeth Brown, Roger Delves-Broughton, Dale Superville, David Tarkenter and Tim Treslove, from 3rd December.

The Rumour Machine says: that the recently closed Lincoln Center New York's production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sher, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, may be restaged in the West End courtesy of the Ambassador Theatre Group; and that Baz Lurman is working on a stage adaptation of his 1992 film Strictly Ballroom, which will feature an original score. The Rumour Machine grinds on.