News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th July 2007

In addition to the previously announced season of King Lear and The Seagull, with Ian McKellen and Frances Barber, directed by Trevor Nunn, opening at the New London Theatre on 12th November, the Royal Shakespeare Company will transfer its History Cycle, directed by Michael Boyd, from Stratford to The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm for an 8 week season from next March. The cycle comprises Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II, Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II and III and Richard III. The RSC will also stage an as yet untitled new play written and directed by Anthony Neilson, on the themes of love, perversity and the wildness at the outer reaches of the imagination, developed with 11 actors over a 6 week period, at the Soho Theatre, opening on 5th December; and Leo Butler's I'll Be The Devil, written as a response to The Tempest, set in occupied Ireland in 1775, and Roy Williams's Days Of Significance, inspired by Much Ado About Nothing, set in a market town England and the deserts of Iraq, directed by Maria Aberg, at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, opening in February.

The stage musical adaptation of Disney's television film High School Musical, book by David Simpatico, from the film script by Peter Barsocchini, directed by Jeff Calhoun, with choreography by Lisa Stevens, will open a national tour at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 23rd January. When a popular basketball star and an academically gifted newcomer discover they share a secret passion for singing, they audition for the lead roles in the school musical, and the rigid social order amongst the 'jocks' and the 'brainiacs' is threatened (Hamlet it ain't). The producers are Disney Theatricals and Stage Entertainment.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Jonathan Pryce and Aiden Gillen will star in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, about the cut-throat world of Florida real estate salesmen, directed by James Macdonald, opening at the Apollo Theatre on 10th October. The producer is Mark Rubenstein.

English National Ballet will perform the world premiere of Michael Corder's ballet The Snow Queen, based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, set to Julian Philips's arrangement of Prokofiev's music for the ballet The Tale Of The Stone Flower and other works, with a company of 64 dancers, at Liverpool Empire on 11th October. It will join The Nutcracker and Swan Lake in English National Ballet's annual Christmas season at the London Coliseum from 11th December to 6th January.

The Barbican/Young Vic production of Herge's Tintin, adapted by David Greig and Rufus Norris, who also directs, featuring Matthew Parish, which opens a national tour at the Palace Theatre Watford on 28th July, will play a West End season at the Playhouse Theatre from 12th December to 23rd February. In the show the boy journalist (and second most famous Belgian), together with his loyal dog Snowy and the curmudgeonly Captain Haddock, attempts to rescue his friend Chang after a plane crash in the Himalayas. The London producers are Sonia Friedman Productions, Mark Rubinstein, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter, Tulchin/Bartner Productions and WTTP.

The first Edinburgh Fringe transfer has been announced - a month before the Festival begins. Discotivity, a disco version of the nativity story, written by Toby Rose, with a '70s soundtrack mixed by DJs Luke Hope and Alan X Hope, featuring Michelle McManus, directed by Russell Labey, with choreography by Tara Wilkinson, will open at the Arts Theatre on 4th December. The producer is Kevin Wilson.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Jersey Boys, the Tony Award winning Broadway back catalogue musical about '60s pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, directed by Des McAnuff, will open at the Prince Edward Theatre in March

Rambert Dance Company and The Royal Parks are to stage Outside, free one week creative dance projects for young people aged 11-14 living in London, in Regent's Park from 13th to 17th and 20th to 24th August. Participants will get the chance to dance to live music, explore the park and its wildlife, and create and perform a new dance work. Dancers from Rambert will lead daily classes to develop dance and fitness skills based around pieces from the company's repertoire, while staff from the Royal Parks will hold sessions where participants can learn about the wildlife in the park. The project will conclude with a dance performance incorporating the week's experiences. Further information and application form can be found at the Outside web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The autumn season at the Bush Theatre will include the premieres of David Watson's Flight Path, a drama about loyalty, families and friendship, directed by Naomi Jones, opening on 17th September, produced by Out of Joint; Ian McHugh's first play How To Curse, the story of three young people marooned in Great Yarmouth, directed by Josie Rourke, opening on 16th October; and Mike Packer's comedy tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ!, about a former punk band endeavouring to keep the Anarchy flag flying 30 years on, opening on 20th November; plus the British premiere of Neil LaBute's double bill Helter Skelter / Land Of The Dead, with each story containing a shock that changes its character's journey to an unexpected end, directed by Patricia Benecke, opening on 17th January, a Dialogue Production in association with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.

On The Casting Couch: James Fleet will be joined by Sian Brooke, Dermot Canavan, Anna Francolini, Huw Higginson, Carol Macready, Carla Mendonca, Richard Moore, Gary Oliver and Roderick Smithstar in In the Club, opening at the Hampstead Theatre on 2nd August; Stockard Channing will be joined by Trevor Cooper, Kieron Jecchinis, Paul Jesson, Nigel Lindsay, John Lloyd Fillingham, John Rogan, Ben Turner and Jodie Whittaker in Awake And Sing, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 6th September; and Bertie Carvel and Lara Pulver will lead the cast of Parade opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 14th September.

The Rumour Machine says: that Alicia Silverstone wants to join the cast of David Mamet's three hander Speed-the-Plow, opening at the Old Vic Theatre in January, having played the role in Los Angeles earlier this year; that David Tennant will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play Hamlet, directed by Michael Boyd, next summer; and that despite the reviews for Kismet, English National Opera is to continue with its policy of an annual summer musical, and has Meredith Wilson's The Music Man pencilled in for next year (well an opera company should be able to muster 76 trombones). The Rumour Machine grinds on.