Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
The spring season at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond will include: Jason Sherman's Reading Hebron, which examines a terrorist atrocity at the Mosque in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994, directed by Sam Walters, from 9th February; Allan Monkhouse's Mary Broome, an Edwardian comedy about love across the class divide, with Katie McGuinness, directed by Auriol Smith, from 16th March; Lars Noren's Autumn And Winter, in which a family dinner develops into an evening of accusations, guilt and denial, with Auriol Smith, directed by Derek Goldby, from 28th April; and John Maddison Morton's Three Farces, a triple bill comprising Slasher & Crasher, Grimshaw, Bagshaw & Bradshaw and A Most Unwarrantable Intrusion, with thwarted lovers, disgruntled uncles and a jam loving suitor among the characters caught up in Edwardian farcical encounters, directed by Henry Bell, from 2nd June.
Site-specific theatre company Rhapsody of Words will stage a promenade production of Neil LaBute's The Shape Of Things, with Katy Marks, Lucy Marks, Andrew Nolan and Edward Rowett, directed by Tom Attenborough, at The Gallery Soho art gallery opening on 1st February. It is the story of four students engaged in an intense experiment in modern love and art, where nothing is quite what it seems.
New York TheatreNet: the Royal Court Theatre production of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, a comic picture of contemporary rural England, with original stars Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook, directed by Ian Rickson, will open on Broadway on 21st April at the Music Box Theatre (where Rylance is currently starring in the London production of David Herson's La Bete). News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.
The musical By Jeeves, book and lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, adapted from the stories by P G Wodehouse, directed by Nick Bagnall, with choreography by Andrew Wright, will open at the Landor Theatre in Clapham on 8th February. The producers are Thomas Hopkins, Jason Haig-Ellery, Julian Stoneman and Stage Live.
On The Casting Couch: Ben Goddard, Derek Hagen, Robert Britton Lyons, Michael Malarkey, Francesca Jackson and Bill Ward will form the cast of the Colin Escott-Floyd Mutrux back catalogue musical Million Dollar Quartet, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 28th February; and Penelope Wilton will be joined by Imelda Staunton and Lucy Cohu in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 12th May.
Forthcoming productions at the New End Theatre in Hampstead will include: Barry Peters's A Rude Awakening, in which an American election candidate discovers his campaign manager has a secret that looks set to ruin his prospects, while 160 years later what was once taboo is now the norm, with Jonathan Woodward, Sean Browne, Genevieve Adam, James LeFeuvre, Lucy Newman Williams, Chris Barley, Sarah Wolff and Morgan Deare, directed by Olivia Rowe, from 1st February; An Evening With Dementia, a one man show written and performed by Trevor T Smith, a humorous and poignant perspective of a dementia sufferer cut loose from society by his failing memory, from 15th February; Alan Share's Death Of A Nightingale, about the fight to save a Special Needs school that brought the headmaster to the brink of suicide, from 8th March; Murray Schisgal's 74 Georgia Avenue, in which a man attempts to reconnect with his youth by returning to the apartment where he was born, in a once Jewish, now black neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York, directed by Paul Blinkhorn, from 9th March; and Christopher Durang's Wanda's Visit, in which a married couple are visited by the husband's high school girlfriend, directed by Kenneth O'Toole, from 22nd March.
The spring season at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh will include the 3rd Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, featuring puppetry and animation from France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Armenia, from 31st January; the premiere of Rona Munro's Pandas, a 'romantic-comedy-thriller set in Edinburgh and China', directed by Rebecca Gatward, opening on 19th April; and the Imaginate Festival of theatre for children and young people from 9th May.
Miss Nightingale The Musical, book, music and lyrics by Matthew Bugg, a backstage burlesque musical set in the 1940s, with Ilan Goodman, Richard Shelton and Amber Topaz, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bugg, will open at the King's Head Theatre in Islington, on 26th January.
Oliver! From Page To Stage celebrates the 50th anniversary of the West End premiere of Lionel Bart's musical. The exhibition traces the development of Charles Dickens's tale of the young orphan Oliver Twist to the groundbreaking musical that achieved world wide popularity, in the house in which the original story was written. It includes some of Dickens's original manuscripts, plus costumes, props and a 1:25 model of the production at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Also on display are 6 oil paintings of by Francis Hamel Cook, based on sketches made during rehearsals for the Drury Lane production. The Charles Dickens Museum is located 48 Doughty Street, London WC1.
Forthcoming productions at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn will include: Water, the multimedia production about global warming, created by theatre company Filter, director David Farr and designer Andi Watson, with Oliver Dimsdale, Victoria Moseley, Tim Phillips and Ferdy Roberts, opening on 3rd February; Polly Teale's Bronte, a glimpse into the life, mind and works of the Bronte family, directed by Nancy Meckler, a co-production by Shared Experience, the Watermill Theatre and Oxford Playhouse, opening on 8th April; and Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking The Wall), relating adventures while walking the length of the Israeli Separation Barrier, opening on 3rd May.
The spring season at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch will include the musical Pick Yourself Up, book by Stephen Wyatt, with songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, set in a 1930s world of gangsters and showfolk, opening on 7th March; Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew, opening on 11th April; and Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show, directed by Bob Carlton, opening on 16th May.