News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th December 1996

Owing to the knock on effect of the swift demise of Night Must Fall - where Jason Donovan produced a Welsh accent to rival Dick Van Dyke's cockney one - Jessica Lange makes her West End stage debut three weeks earlier than originally planned. She now opens as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Haymarket Theatre on 18th December. The cast also features Toby Stephens as Stanley Kawolski, Imogen Stubbs and Sandra Dickinson. Peter Hall directs.

A new musical called Maddie is heading for the Vaudeville Theatre in February, following a successful pre London season at Salisbury. Based on the novel Marion's Wall by Jack Finney (who wrote Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), it has music is by Stephen Keeling, book by Shaun McKenna and Steven Dexter, and lyrics by Shaun McKenna. The spirit of a 1920's Hollywood actress, killed in an accident on the brink of stardom, returns to inhabit Jan, a girl in the 1980's, in order to resume her career. It stars Kevin Colson, Mark McGann, Angela Richards and Summer Rognlie in the dual roles of Jan and Maddie.

Ian Holm returns to the London stage in April playing King Lear, in one of Richard Eyre's final productions at the National Theatre. This will be Holm's first appearance since Harold Pinter's Moonlight at the Almeida Theatre, when he triumphantly overcame a fear of live performance which had lasted fifteen years.

Late and Lyrical at Jermyn Street Theatre, is a new idea in late night musical entertainment. The season is being run in association with The Mercury Workshop, whose members include both the best known, and most exciting new writing talent, in musical theatre. A cast of West End stars will present a feast of new work mixing excerpts from musicals in the making, with topical revue. There will be a new cast and a new show every two weeks. Performances run from 11.15pm to 12.30am every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. For further information call 0171 287 2875.