News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th February 2011

The 2011/2012 season at the Young Vic will include Gogol's Government Inspector, about a corrupt small town mayor who mistakes a penniless nobody for an undercover government inspector, in a new adaptation by David Harrower, with Julian Barratt, Doon Mackichan and Kyle Soller, directed by Richard Jones, opening on 9th June; the return of last year's production of Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, a darkly comic tale set in rural Ireland, about the relationship between a lonely spinster and her manipulative mother, with Rosaleen Linehan and Derbhle Crotty, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, opening on 26th July; the return of the 2008 co-production with Opera Group of the musical Street Scene, book by Elmer Rice, music by Kurt Weill, lyrics Langston Hughes, which tells the story of a day and night in the life of the inhabitants of a New York tenement in 1947, directed by John Fulljames, with choreography by Arthur Pita, opening on 19th September; Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Michael Sheen, directed by Ian Rickson, opening on 9th November; and the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Edward Bond's Bingo, which depicts Shakespeare in the last days of his life, facing poverty and lacking creative energy, with Patrick Stewart, directed by Angus Jackson, opening on 23rd February.

The Royal Court Theatre will stage Arnold Wesker's Chicken Soup With Barley, spanning 20 years in the life of an East End Jewish family, with Samantha Spiro, directed by Dominic Cooke, opening on 7th June.

Forthcoming productions at the Old Red Lion at The Angel, Islington, will include the premiere of What We're Up Against, a bill of short plays reflecting the pressures of contemporary society by Theresa Rebeck, with Michael Benz, Tom Cornish, Adrian Deasley, Demi Oyediran and Sally Scott, directed by Rob Hale, from 8th February; Teddy And Topsy, a play with dance, written and directed by Robert Shaw, based on Isodora Duncan's love letters to Edward Gordon Craig, choreographed and performed by Anna-Marie Paraskeva, from 5th March; and Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, about a group of people quarantined in London during the Black Death, with Victoria Bavister, Ian Gain, Dan Maxwell, Kate Abraham and Chris Donnelly, directed by Sue Colverd, from 29th March.

New York TheatreNet: Punchdrunk theatre company will stage its immersive film noir style Sleep No More, inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Felix Barrett, co-directed and choreographed by Maxin Doyle, in the former McKittrick Hotel and nightclub in Chelsea, from 7th March. Theatergoers will be free explore the dark environment, where scenes, tableaux and scenarios play out, conjuring the world and themes of Shakespeare's play. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Propeller, Edward Hall's all male Shakespeare theatre company, comprising Richard Clothier, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Tony Bell, Robert Hands, Chris Myles, John Dougall, Dominic Tighe, Kelsey Brookfield, Thomas Padden, Jon Trenchard, David Newman, Sam Swainsbury, Richard Frame and Wayne Cater, will play Richard III and The Comedy Of Errors in repertoire at Hampstead Theatre, opening on 24th June.

The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester has announced the third Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, with prizes totaling over 40,000, open to writers of any experience over 16 and resident in the UK or Ireland. Submissions will be judged by a panel including Simon Stephens, Jackie Kay, Sue Johnston, Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Michael Oglesby. There is a first prize of 16,000, plus three additional prizes of 8,000. The winning writers will have the chance to develop their work with the Royal Exchange Theatre with a view to production, and then be published. Entries must be received by 6th June. Further information and an application form can be found on the RET web site via the link from Regional Theatres in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Tim Firth's Sign Of The Times, a comedy about a sign erector driven to the edge of suicide by frustration at his lack of creative success, with only a teenager on work experience to talk him out of it, with Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns, directed by Peter Wilson, will open at the Duchess Theatre on 11th March.

The Kneehigh Theatre production of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes, about a girl who puts on a pair of red shoes and can't stop dancing, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, with Robbie Lucksay, Mike Shepherd, Giles King, Patrycja Kujawska, Dave Mynne, Ian Ross and Stu Barker, will open at Battersea Arts Centre on 3rd March.

Tom Holloway's Fatherland, an examination of the destructive cycle of desire in an illicit relationship between a father and daughter, directed by Caroline Steinbeis, will premiere at the Gate Theatre, in Notting Hill Gate, on 16th February, a co-production with ATC.

Shared Experience is to become the resident theatre company at Oxford Playhouse. The two organisations will share resources, and while continuing to produce and tour their own shows, will also co-produce, starting with Polly Teale's Bronte, a glimpse into the life, mind and works of the Bronte family, directed by Nancy Meckler, opening on 24th March.

Lifeblood theatre company will stage the premiere of Glyn Maxwell's After Troy, a contemporary retelling of Euripides's Women Of Troy and Hecuba, about the aftermath of the Trojan War, with Hannah Barrie, Iain Batchelor, Antony Byrne, Eve Matheson, Amy Noble, Oscar Pearce, Rebecca Smith-Williams and Nicolas Tennant, directed by Alex Clifton, with choreography by Kate Flatt, at Oxford Playhouse on 1st March, transferring to the Shaw Theatre in Euston Road, from 16th March.

The Rumour Machine says: that Adrian Noble will direct the stage version of David Seidler's A King's Speech, written before the film, but so far unproduced, either in the West End or on Broadway in the autumn; and that Kristin Scott Thomas will return to the London stage in Harold Pinter's Betrayal, the semi autobiographical play about a wife who has a long term affair with her husband's best friend, which starts with the crumbling of the marriage and unravels backwards in time to the night the affair began. The Rumour Machine grinds on.