News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th October 2012

The National Theatre's Annual Report for 2011/2012, reveals that it had a good year financially, with income of 80m, and attendances of 2.3m, which represented 92% of capacity, largely due to the West End transfers of War Horse (which achieved 99% capacity), and One Man, Two Guvnors, which have also both played on Broadway. 56% of income came from box office receipts, while 23% comprised Arts Council funding. There were 27 productions, 12 of which were new plays, with 1,746 performances. 33% of audiences were first time bookers. The programme of streaming productions live to cinemas continued with 500 venues in 22 countries, including 160 venues in Britain. Work on the development plans for the building, which include a new education centre next to the Cottesloe theatre's extended foyer, plus a new bar and dining area, designed by Haworth Tompkins, have begun, with the Cottesloe theatre due to close for refurbishment in February, and 59m of the 70m funding raised so far.

The dance show Midnight Tango, set in a late-night bar in downtown Buenos Aires, with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, joined by 10 international Tango dancers, choreographed by Simone and Cacace, directed by Karen Bruce, will return to the West End at the Phoenix Theatre, from 30th January to 2nd March. The producers are Arlene Phillips and Adam Spiegel. Meanwhile, the Argentinean show Tango Fire: Flames Of Desire, a journey through the history of Tango, will return to the Peacock Theatre, from 30th January to 16th February.

Playing Cards 1: Spades, written by Sylvio Arriola, Carole Faisant, Nuria Garcia, Tony Guilfoyle, Martin Haberstroh, Robert Lepage, Sophie Martin and Roberto Mori, the first in a planned series of 4 plays, each shaped around one suit in a deck of cards, which explores the theme of war, set in Las Vegas at the onset of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, directed by Robert Lepage, will open at the Roundhouse at Chalk Farm on 11th February. The producer is Ex-Machina.

New York TheatreNet: The premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, a backstage drama set at the premiere of Bellini's opera I Puritani in Paris in 1835, with Lee Pace, Richard Easton, Dierdre Friel, Coco Monroe, Bebe Neuwirth, Ethan Phillips, Lorenzo Pisoni, Will Rogers and Eddie Kaye Thomas, directed by Walter Bobbie, will open at Manhattan Theatre Club City Center Stage I on 4th December. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The dance show Burn The Floor, encompassing everything from Viennese Waltz and Quickstep, through Tango, Samba, Mambo and Paso Doble, to Lindy Hop and Jive, featuring Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff, plus 20 ballroom dancers from around the world, directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison, will return to the Shaftesbury Theatre, opening on 11th March.

The Society of London Theatre and Mousetrap Theatre Projects are offering teachers the chance to find out about the educational opportunities that London theatre provides at the annual event EducationLive, at the Lyceum Theatre, on 12th November. Teachers will gain information on theatre productions on offer over the coming year, as well as the educational programmes, workshops, teachers' resource materials, special events and school group rates available to support schools' theatre trips. Attendees will meet theatre industry professionals, including a guest appearance by Simon Callow, and take part in two 45 minute workshops. Further information and booking can be found on the Learn About London Theatre web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Dreamboats And Petticoats: The Musical, the stage show based on the compilation album of late '50s and early '60s pop classics, book by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, directed by Bob Tomson, choreographed by Carole Todd, which recently closed at the Playhouse Theatre, will return to the West End at Wyndham's Theatre, from 16th October. The producers are Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield.

Stephen Belber's Tape, a high stakes and suspenseful exploration of memory, truth and perception, with Marc Elliott, Darren Bransford and Kate Loustau, directed by Thomas King, will open at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 12th October. The producer is Louisa Norman.

The Royal Opera House 2012/2013 season of cinema relays of its productions will comprise the ballets Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and the operas Le Troyens, La Boheme, Eugene Onegin, Nabucco, La Donna Del Lago and Gloriana. When the ballet La Fille Mal Gardee was shown during the last season it was number 3 in the chart of UK box office takings for that day.

The Christmas season at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, will comprise the return of A Christmas Carol, with Simon Callow using an adaptation of Charles Dickens's own performing version of the classic story, directed by Tom Cairns, opening on 29th November, an Assembly Festival and Riverside Studios production; and the musical Suessical, book by Lyn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lyn Ahrens, co conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle, featuring characters from the works of Dr Seuss, directed by Phillip Rowntree, with choreography by Maddy Mutch, opening on 6th December, a Sell A Door Theatre Company production.

Serendipity Productions will stage the British premiere of Arthur Schnitzler's Fraulein Else, set in an exclusive Hotel in the 1920's Italian Alps, about the terrible choice an innocent young girl has to make in her dealings in a world run by power and sex, directed by Anna Ostergren, at Drayton Theatre in South Kensington, from 30th October.

The musical Steel Pier, book by David Thompson, music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, loosely based on the film They Shoot Horses Don't They?, about 1930s dance marathons, with Sarah Galbraith, Jay Rincon, Aimie Atkinson, Ian Knauer, Ian Kirton, Samuel Parker, Clare Louise Connolly, Brett Shiels, Amy Anzel, Rob Lines, Lisa-Anne Wood, Ben Beard, Louise Roberts, Natalie Douglas, Eithne Bryan, Connor Macnamara, Sheila Grant, Simon Mayhew and Rebecca Orwell, directed by Paul Taylor-Mills, with choreography by Richard Jones, will play at the Union Theatre in Southwark, from 31st October.