News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th August 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Backbeat, a play with music adapted from the 1994 film about the Beatles early years in Hamburg, centring on the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe, the band's original bassist, John Lennon, and Astrid Kirchherr, the beatnik German photographer, co-written by the film's director Ian Softly and Stephen Jeffreys, directed by David Leveaux, which premiered at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre last year, will open at the Duke of York's Theatre on 10th October. The producer is Karl Sydow.

Fascinating Aida, the comedy cabaret trio that has had more regenerations than Doctor Who, with Dillie Keane and Adele Anderson now joined by Sarah-Louise Young, will play a 5 week season of their latest show Cheap Flights at the Charing Cross Theatre, in the Arches under Charing Cross Station, from 7th December.

Forthcoming productions at the Royal Theatre in Northampton will include the premiere of Nick Fisher's Basket Case, a comedy about a divorced couple drawn back together by the illness of their dog, with Nigel Havers, Christine Kavanagh, Graham Seed and David Cardy, directed by Robin Lefevre, opening a national tour on 9th September; Shakespeare's The Two Gentleman Of Verona, in a contemporary physical theatre staging, directed by Matthew Dunster, from 30th September, a co-production with RashDash Productions; a musical adaptation of L P Hartley's The Go Between, book by David Wood, music by Richard Taylor, lyrics by David Wood and Richard Taylor, in which a young boy comes of age as he is unwittingly enlisted as a messenger in an adult affair of deceit and desire, at the turn of the 20th century, directed by Roger Haines, from 1st November, a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse; and Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, adapted by Phil Porter, from 30th November.

New York TheatreNet: Brooklyn/Beijing Innovative Theatre Experience (BITE) will stage Prom Night Of The Living Dead, written and directed by Kris Chung, set at a 1962 prom as the ill-fated high school students dance, drink, and subsequently get attacked by flesh eating zombies, opening at the Player's Theatre in Greenwich Village on 18th August. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The Royal Opera House is continuing its ROH2 series of innovative and experimental small scale dance, opera and music events, staged in the Linbury Theatre. Upcoming highlights include: The Metamorphosis, a dance theatre piece by Arthur Pita, inspired by the novella by Franz Kafka, music by Frank Moon, featuring Edward Watson, from 19th to 24th September; the premiere of the opera Heart Of Darkness, music by Tarik O'Regan, libretto by Tom Phillips, adapted from the novel by Joseph Conrad, with Alan Oke and Jeanine de Bique, directed by Edward Dick, from 1st to 5th November; and Magical Night, a Christmas fantasy family dance piece by Aletta Collins, music by Kurt Weil, from 9th to 31st December.

The Broadway Musical Quiz Book by Laura Frankos, published by Applause Theatre And Cinema Books, comprises nearly 80 quizzes on every aspect of the Broadway musical, including sections devoted to the careers of major Broadway stars, songwriters, directors, and producers. It also features thematic sections, such as musicals set in France, adaptations from literature, food and drink, British shows, biographical shows, and jukebox musicals, plus questions covering each decade from 1900 to the present. With over 700 shows mentioned, and over 1200 questions, the book is detailed and thorough: the answer section doesn't merely list the answers, it provides further information on the quiz's subjects (and often on the wrong answers, too). More than just a compendium of trivia, it is an anecdotal history of musical theatre, with something for everyone who loves The Great White Way.

The autumn season at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court will include Steve Hennessy's Lullabies Of Broadmoor - A Broadmoor Quartet, 4 plays presented in double bills weaving together the stories of 5 of Broadmoor's most notorious inmates of the late 19th and early 20th century and the stories of those they murdered, with Chris Bianchi, Chris Courtenay, Chris Donnelly and Violet Ryder, directed by Chris Loveless, opening on 2nd September; St John Ervine's Mixed Marriage, a poetic tragedy that dissects class and religious sectarianism through the breakdown of one ordinary family in Ireland before partition, directed by Sam Yates, opening on 6th October; and Sally Woodcock's Fanta Orange, examining pride and prejudice in contemporary Africa, directed by Gareth Machin, opening on 3rd November.

Soho Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company will stage Georgia Fitch's Fit And Proper People, examining the backstage dealings at an ex-Premiership football club, directed by Steve Marmion, opening at the Soho Theatre on 12th October.

The autumn season at Oldham Coliseum will include Ira Levin's thriller Deathtrap, in which an aging writer who attempts to murder his protegee and claim the credit for his work, with Andrew Cullimore, Helen Kay, Roberta Kerr, Steven Pinder and Russell Richardson, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 8th September; Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, the story of an overbearing mother and her son, who is torn between an obligation to his family and his desire to break away, in 1930s St Louis, from 20th October; and Dick Whittington, written by and featuring Fine Time Fontayne, with Andonis Anthony, Justine Elizabeth Bailey, Liz Carnery, Richard J Fletcher and Simeon Truby, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 26th November.

The Rumour Machine says: that Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Zippel and Charlotte Jones are working on a 'chamber' version of their West End and Broadway musical The Woman In White, adapted from the Wilkie Collins melodrama, focussing on the principal characters, to be performed by a cast of 9 or 10, with British and American touring productions in mind. The Rumour Machine grinds on.