News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th June 2010

The summer dance season at the London Coliseum will include the Mikhailovsky Ballet performing Swan Lake, Giselle, Cipollino, Triple Bill and Laurencia, from 13th to 21st July; Carlos Acosta with a programme featuring new works by George Cespedes, Edwaard Liang, Acosta himself, and a mixed media collaboration with Simon Elliott of Ahh... Arts Igniting Minds, from 28th July to 7th August; Caracalla Dance Theatre performing a new work, Zayed And The Dream, on 1st and 3rd August; and English National Ballet with Cinderella, from 11th to 15th August.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, as part of the '25 anniversary celebrations' of the musical Les Miserables, in addition to the ongoing West End production, and the touring production playing a season at the Barbican, there will be a third simultaneous concert production at the O2 Arena on 3rd October. It will feature over 300 actors and musicians, including former West End and Broadway cast members, and Alfie Boe, Norm Lewis, Nick Jonas, Matt Lucas, Jenny Galloway and Lea Salonga. (The bottom of that barrel must be even thicker than we thought.)

Richard Bean's new play The Big Fellah, with Finbar Lynch, David Ricardo-Pearce, Rory Keenan, Youssef Kerkour, Claire Rafferty, Fred Ridgeway and Stephanie Street, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, will open a national tour at the Corn Exchange in Newbury on 2nd September. Set among the Irish-American community in New York, and spanning three decades, it centres on a fireman who decides to live up to his Irish heritage by joining the IRA. It is a co-production by Out of Joint theatre company and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, where it will play from 21st September.

The Tall Stories Theatre Company production of Room On The Broom, adapted and directed by Toby Mitchell and Olivia Jacobs, from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's picture book, with Phil Yarrow, Karina Garnett and Morag Cross, will play daytime performances at the Garrick Theatre from 28th July to 29th August. It is the story of a witch and her cat, whose efforts to retrieve her hat, bow and wand, which have been blown away by a mighty wind, leave them at the mercy of a hungry dragon.

Once again the National Theatre will be presenting Watch This Space, its free outdoor festival in the riverside Theatre Square, from 23rd June to 26th September. The programme of over 300 street theatre, music, circus, late night cinema, installations, dance, cabaret and other events runs every day of the week, beginning at different times from midday to 10.30pm. Events will include Floten Tecles (The Floating Keyboard), with David Moreno playing and singing at a vertical grand piano six metres in the air; Asian dance company Srishti's World Cup themed show Bend It; and The Alternative Village Fete, an urban twist on the traditional British summer institution. Further information can be found on the National Theatre web site, via the link from London venues in the links section of TheatreNet.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh's 2010/2011 season will include Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, directed by Tony Cownie, from 17th September, and Oscar Wilde's 'serious comedy for trivial people' The Importance Of Being Earnest, directed by Mark Thomson, from 22nd October, both performed by the same ensemble company; The Snow Queen, adapted by Stuart Paterson from Hans Andersen's story, directed by Mark Thomson, from 2nd December; Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge, the story of a longshoreman who has raised his orphaned niece, but become infatuated with her, and is ruined by jealousy, directed by John Dove, from 14th January; Linda Griffiths's Age Of Arousal, the story of five Victorian women pursuing a new age of erotic and economic freedom, directed by Muriel Romanes, from 18th February; Sue Glover's Marilyn, in which Marilyn Monroe is in a hotel room with French actress Simone Signoret while Arthur Miller types away in the room next door, directed by Jeremy Raison, from 15th March; Liz Lochhead's Educating Agnes, a Scottish version of Moliere's School For Wives, directed by Tony Cownie, from 8th April; and David Greig's Dunsinane, a sequel to Macbeth, directed by Roxana Silbert, from 14th May.

Nimer Rashed's Wild Horses, a family drama about the return of a prodigal daughter, with Jade Anouka, Jessica Clark, Amanda Daniels, Tom Kanji and John Trindle, directed by Nadia Latif, will play at Theatre 503, in Battersea, from 15th June.

Rainbow Shakespeare is to stage outdoor productions in the Greenwich Royal Observatory Garden, in Greenwich Park, directed by Nicolas Young. Macbeth, with Christopher Peacock, Lee Payne, Peter Goode, Ross Muir, Andrew Storey, Hilary Janewood and Emily Bennett, will play from 4th to 8th August and Twelfth Night, with Andrew Storey, Emily Bennett, Jamie-lee Muir, Peter Goode, Ross Muir, Mark Lascelles, will play from 11th to 15th August.

Rather more homespun than Glyndebourne, Bampton Classical Opera presents its 2010 season of outdoor performances at the Deanery Garden Bampton on 23rd and 24th July, and The Orangery Terrace Westonbirt on 29th August, and indoors at St John's Smith Square on 7th October. It continues its policy of breathing new life into little known works of the classical period with the British premiere of Marcos Portugal's The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Jeremy Gray. Performances include a picnic interval. Further information can be found on the BCO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a musical adaptation of Ken Ludwig's farce Lend Me A Tenor, about the backstage panic involved in getting an opera superstar on stage in the 1930s, book and lyrics by Peter Sham, music by Brad Carroll, with Matthew Kelly, Damian Humbley, Michael Matus and Sally Ann Triplett, directed by Ian Talbot, with choreography by Randy Skinner, will open a prospective pre West End season at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth on 24th September.

The Rumour Machine says: that Carrie Fisher's darkly comic autobiographical solo show Wishful Drinking, directed by Tony Taccone, which played on Broadway last autumn, may transfer to London later this year; and that the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, book by David Greig, music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, directed by Sam Mendes, will premiere in the West End in the middle of next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.