Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
New British Cinema starts repaying its debt to the theatre this autumn. Ewan McGregor is to make his major stage debut in a revival of David Halliwell's Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against the Eunuchs at the Hampstead Theatre, directed by Denis Lawson. The theme is art school student rebellion against restrictions on creative expression - very much of the '60's, when it was written. John Hurt originated the role.
The Peter Hall Company season at the Piccadilly Theatre will start with Peter Bowles and Elaine Paige in Moliere's Le Misanthrope rehearsing in mid March. This follows the company's very successful production of The School For Wives, also with Peter Bowles at the Piccadilly, which opened exactly a year ago.
Hopefully I have finally sorted out what is happening at the Vaudeville Theatre. The South African musical Kat And the Kings by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen will transfer there, after its return visit to the Tricycle Theatre, opening on 23rd March. It is produced by Paul Elliot, Nick Salmon and Lee Menzies. There are no further reported sightings of The Herbal Bed.
The National Theatre production of Oh, What A Lovely War!, which will be touring the country in a big top, visits London from 8th to 25th April. It is expected to pitch in Bernie Spain Gardens, on the South Bank between Gabriel's Wharf and the Oxo Tower. This will be the first major revival of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop musical documentary since the original production in the early 1960's. Fiona Land directs. Prices range from £9 to £18.
As part of their Live Broadway promotion, the League of American Theatres and Producers has set up a toll-free information service: The Broadway Line. By dialling 1-888-411-BWAY potential theatregoers throughout the U.S. can obtain details of performance times, plot synopses, theatre location and ticket prices for shows on the Great White Way. International callers and tri-state New Yorkers can use 212-302-4111. Alternatively, there is a link to LATP's web site from TheatreNet's Organisations section.
Further news of the Almeida Theatre/Malvern Festival association. The Doctor's Dilemma will tour when it ends at the Almeida, before arriving at Malvern. A new version of Brecht's Mr Puntilla And His Man Matti, co-produced with The Right Size Theatre, will open at Malvern in the autumn and transfer to the Almeida. Finally, Ted Hughes' translation of Racine's Phaedra, starring Diana Rigg and directed by Jonathan Kent, will open at Malvern and transfer to the West End. This project reunites the team which created the award winning production of Euripedes' Medea.
The Rumour Machine says: that Whistle Down The Wind now credits its rewritten book to Patricia Knop and Gale Edwards and Andrew Lloyd Webber - once he starts tweaking the lyrics, it will be like Time where Dave Clark was credited with co-doing everything (except playing the Time Lord with Laurence Olivier); and that the Royal Opera House, chastened by the experience of finding that its audience won't follow it around London, is looking again at the option of moving into the Lyceum when Jesus Christ Superstar closes, rather than to Sadlers Wells when it reopens. The Rumour Machine grinds on.