News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th April 2012

This year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, which runs from 21st to 20th June, will feature procession, pyrotechnics and performance from major international companies, many free and taking place outdoors. Highlights include: Graeae Theatre Company and La Fura dels Baus's Prometheus Awakes, an epic re-interpretation of the Greek myth; Handspring Puppet Company's Crow, based on the poems by Ted Hughes, evoking a world at odds with itself, adapted by Matthew Dunster, directed by Mervyn Millar, with choreography by Ben Duke; and Requardt and Rosenberg's Motor Show, featuring 10 choreographed cars and dancers. Further information can be found on the G&DIF web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Simon Williams, Nickolas Grace, James McArdle and Jack Lowden will head the cast of Chariots Of Fire, opening at Hampstead Theatre on 22nd May.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's charitable foundation has announced a grant of 125,000 to help kick-start a scheme to support refurbishment projects at local theatres. The money will help create a scheme offering sums of up to 5,000 for theatres in need of funds to address urgent and longer term capital needs, and improve their physical condition, accessibility and operational viability through the Theatres Trust's Theatres Protection Fund. The scheme is aimed at theatres run by charities and not for profit groups that can demonstrate the value improvements to their theatre buildings would make to their work within local communities. Further information can be found on the Theatres Trust web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

New York TheatreNet: The Rumour Machine says: that the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of the George Furth-Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, charting the lives of a Broadway show writing partnership and their best friend over a 25 year period, running backwards in time from their disenchanted middle age to optimistic youth, directed by John Doyle, may be Broadway bound courtesy of producer Richard Frankel; and that Potted Potter - The Unauthorised Harry Experience, which condenses all the J K Rowling books to 70 minutes, written and performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, directed by Richard Hurst, may play a summer season at the Little Shubert Theatre, courtesy of producer Corey Ross. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Forthcoming productions at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include in the Quarry Theatre, Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, which explores the difference between art and emotion, as a writer has an affair with the wife of an actor in one of his plays, with Sarah Ball, Sandy Batchelor, Gerald Kyd, Georgina Leonidas, Adam O'Brian, Marianne Oldham and Simon Scardifield, directed by Kate Saxon, opening on 9th May, a co-production with English Touring Theatre; and the musical Loserville, by Elliot Davis and James Bourne, inspired by the Son of Dork album Welcome To Loserville, a story of everyday teenagers in 1971, with Eliza Hope Bennett, Lil' Chris and Aaron Sidwell, directed by Steven Dexter, with choreography by Nick Winston, opening on 19th June, a co-production with Kevin Wallace and Youth Music Theatre.

Primavera will stage James Sheldon's Shiverman, set on a Melanesian island, where an archaeologist and anthropologist's discovery of a lifetime threatens the way of life of the indigenous people, with Paul Mooney, Lisa Kay, Benjamin N Cawley and Eleanor Wyld, directed by Tom Littler, opening at Theatre503, in Battersea, on 3rd May.

From Option To Opening: A Guide To Producing Plays Off Broadway by Donald C Farber, published by Limelight Editions, is an updated edition of what has become a true industry classic. The book is for anyone wanting or needing to understand the process of producing Off Broadway plays from start to finish, be they current or potential producer, writer, actor, director or investor. Written in crisp, clear, nonlegal language that the layman can easily understand, every page reflects the experience and expertise of Farber, a well known and highly respected theatrical attorney. The book contains detailed information on how to: option a property, raise money, obtain a theatre, deal with the cast and other personnel, the art of negotiation, partnerships and co-production agreements, and much more. Especially useful are the appendixes, which include budgets and actual examples of commonly used legal forms and contracts.

The spring season at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury will include John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men, the classic tale of the American depression of two itinerant farm workers who buy a small farm of their own, but find the ensuing hardship tests their friendship to its limits, directed by Douglas Rintoul, from 10th May; and Ben Hur, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the Victorian 'swords and sandals' novel by General Lew Wallace, directed by Sean Foley and Patrick Barlow, from 22nd June, a co-production with Fiery Angel.

John Chapman's Dry Rot, in which a crooked bookie devises a 'get rich quick' plan to kidnap the odds-on favourite horse and replace it with his own decrepit nag, with Liza Goddard, Gareth Hale, Norman Pace, Susan Penhaligon and Neil Stacey, directed by Ron Aldridge, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 8th May.