News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd April 1998

The Almeida's sellout production of Pirandello's Naked, with Juliette Binoche and Oliver Ford Davies, directed by Jonathan Kent will transfer to the Playhouse Theatre for a limited run from 23rd April to 30th May. It replaces the less successful The Judas Kiss by David Hare with Liam Neeson and Tom Hollander, which moves on to New York. Ralph Fiennes is expected to renew his association with Jonathan Kent and the Almeida early next year as either Richard III or Coriolanus.

More details have been released of this year's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre season. Lucy Bailey directs As You Like It with John McKenery, Jonathan Cecil, Paul Hilton, David Rintoul and Anastasia Hille, who also features in A Mad World My Masters directed by Sue Lefton. Richard Olivier directs The Merchant of Venice with Norbut Kentrup, Kathryn Pogson, Mark Rylance and Jack Shepherd, who will also direct The Honest Whore. Venus And Adonis, arguably the first English opera, will be staged in seventeenth century style by Philip Pickett on four Sundays during the season.

Cameron Mackintosh's retaliation to Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday concert, Hey! Mr Producer will take place on 8th June at the Lyceum Theatre, scene of Lord Lloyd's unsuccessful revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. It is a live event based on the compilation album of songs from Mackintosh's productions, with a cast which will include Elaine Paige, John Barrowman and Colm Wilson. Proceeds will go to the Mackintosh Foundation. Although the date is conformed, tickets are not yet on sale.

The Criterion Theatre is trying out the idea of a late night show, in addition to G&J Productions' Reduced Shakespeare Company long runner. Jerry Sadowitz will revive his Bib'n'Bob Show with Logan Murray, previously seen at the Edinburgh Festival. It runs initially for two weeks from 28th April, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 10.30pm. If there proves to be a market, further late shows at the Criterion will follow.

The previously mentioned visit to National Theatre by the Crucible Sheffield production of Brassed Off is now confirmed at the Olivier from 4th to 24th June. It is expected to tour after this. Paul Allen, who adapted the film for the stage, will take part in a pre show Dialogue at 6.00pm on 23rd June.

This year's Discover The Lost Musicals season at the Barbican Cinema opens on 26th April with As Thousands Cheer by Irving Berlin and Moss Hart. Other shows to follow are On a Clear Day You Can See Forever by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner; Hollywood Pinafore by Sir Arthur Sullivan and George S Kaufman; and The Frogs by Stephen Sondheim and Burt Shevelove. Each runs for four successive Sundays at 4.15pm. There will also be a concert performance of Strike Up The Band by George and Ira Gershwin and George S Kaufman at the Barbican Hall on 18th September at 7.00pm, with a full orchestra, celebrating George Gershwin's centenary.

The Rumour Machine says: that stung by criticism from Luvvies For Labour about lack of funding, the government is to use 5m saved from European cultural activities to subsidise pay-what-you-can nights and help regional theatres. It will be released in a series of small announcements to create the impression of a major initiative. The Rumour Machine grinds on.