News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd June 2005

The Donmar Warehouse has announced its autumn season. Simon Russell Beale stars once again as a University don anguishing over sex, marriage, anagrams and the meaning of life in Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist, opening on 13th September; the European premiere of Sam Shepard's The God Of Hell, a contemporary American black comedy on the theme of 'Republican fascism', directed by Kathy Burke, is on 26th October; Ibsen's The Wild Duck, in a new version by David Eldridge, which questions if the truth should be pursued whatever the cost, directed by Michael Grandage, opens on 13th December; and Ian McKellen stars as an ordinary family man wrestling with his conscience over a shocking secret at work in the world premiere of Mark Ravenhill's The Cut, also directed by Grandage, on 28th February. Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter will be joined by David Burke, James Fleet, Barbara Jefford and Rory Kinnear in Peter Oswald's new version of Schiller's Mary Stuart, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, opening at the Donmar on 30th July.

Feast, the first London Festival of Central and Eastern European Theatre, will run at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith from 30th June to 9th July. It will feature Mimirichi from Ukraine with Paper World, in which three clowns rip up their own set, building up to a paper snowball fight involving the audience; COSmino a UK/Poland collaboration with Double, a physical theatre piece exploring opposites and drawing on the idea of the doppelganger; and Kretakor from Hungary with W - Worker's Circus, a poetic piece of theatre of cruelty based on Buchner's Woyzeck and the poems of Attila Jozsef. Running concurrently at Riverside, Melanie Tait's The Vegemite Tales, about a group of young antipodeans living in a west London flat, with Jessica Gerger, Andy Leonard, Sarah McGlade, Andrew Robb, Tom Sangster and Ben Steel, directed by Bill Buckhurst is playing from 7th June to 27th August. The producers are Itchy Feet Theatre and Algernon Productions.

Stage One, by arrangement with The Society Of London Theatre, is holding another Workshop For New Producers from 28th to 30th July. This is an intensive course for anyone interested in producing in the commercial West End theatre. The aim is to provide detailed information on how to set up, produce and promote commercial productions, for those who have limited knowledge of production, or have not previously been involved. It will be conducted by leading theatre practitioners led by production doyenne Andrew Treagus. The inclusive cost is 395. For an application form send a stamped addressed envelope to Workshop For New Producers, Stage One, 32 Rose Street, London WC2 9ET. The closing date for applications is 16th June.

The Royal Opera House is extending its free big screen live relays of opera and ballet productions across Britain this summer. On 8th June at 7.30pm, stars of the Royal Ballet in a special Mixed Programme will be shown in Trafalgar Square, Duthie Park Aberdeen, Exchange Square Manchester, Queen Victoria Square Hull, Chamberlain Square Birmingham, and Clayton Square Liverpool. On 21st June at 7.30pm, Verdi's Rigoletto will be shown in the Piazza Covent Garden, Manchester, Hull, Birmingham, and Liverpool. On 30th July at 7.30pm, Puccini's La Boheme will be shown in the Piazza Covent Garden, Victoria Park, Canary Wharf, Botanical Gardens Belfast, Manchester, Hull, Birmingham, and Liverpool. Further information can be found on the ROH web site via the link from London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Britt Ekland, Malandra Burrows, Giles Watling, Sabina Franklyn and Anita Graham star in Just Desserts, by French farceur Marc Camoletti, adapted by Tudor Gates, directed by Ian Dickens, which is currently touring. When a husband finds that his wife is having an affair, he invites the lover and the lover's wife to dinner, intending to confront them, but the lover hires a stand in for his wife - and then the complications start.

The 43rd City Of London Festival, running from 27th June to 13th July, once again has Trading Places as its theme, this year exploring the cultural exchange between London and Holland, as well as featuring 20th century music and architecture. The festival comprises the usual mixture of lunchtime, rush hour and evening events, with concerts of every kind of music, plus music theatre, dance and films, in historic city buildings and outdoors. Dutch highlights include Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, jazz legends the ICP Orchestra, and artist Hans van Koolwijk's Stalagmites sound and light installation in the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre beneath Guildhall. 20th century music and architecture highlights include Stockhausen's Stimmung on the top floor of the Gherkin, and John Cage in the Lloyds building. An accompanying programme of walks, talks, visits and exhibitions reveals hidden treasures of the City. Further information can be found on the COLF web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Michael Grandage may direct the projected West End revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita; and that Lindsay Posner may direct a West End production of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, in which a couple look back to realise how their childhoods have defined the rest of their lives. The Rumour Machine grinds on.