News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th May 2010

Once again there is a strong showing of British talent in the nominations for this year's New York Tony Awards. They are led by the Menier Chocolate Factory productions of La Cage Aux Folles with 11 nominations, including Musical Revival, Actor Musical (Leading) - Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer, Director Musical - Terry Johnson and Choreography - Lynne Page; A Little Night Music with 4, including Musical Revival, Actress Musical (Leading) - Catherine Zeta-Jones and Actress Musical (Supporting) - Angela Lansbury; the Donmar Warehouse productions of Red with 7, including Play, Actor Play (Leading) - Alfred Molina, Actor Play (Supporting) - Eddie Redmayne and Director Michael Grandage; and Hamlet with 2 including Actor Play (Leading) - Jude Law; plus Enron with 4 (although the show is closing after less than 2 weeks). The winners will be announced at the 64th Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on 13th June. The full list of nominees, and further information about the live webcast of the event, can be found on the Tony Awards web site, via the link from Organisations section of New York TheatreNet

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Kim Cattrall will star with Jeffery Kissoon in Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra, directed by Janet Suzman, opening at Liverpool Playhouse on 14th October.

The summer season at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court will include the premiere of Bekah Brunstetter's Miss Lilly Gets Boned, or The Loss Of All Elephant Elders, where a Sunday school teacher finds her life and faith disturbed by the arrival of a new pupil and his father, directed by Lily Bevan, opening on 24th June, produced with Osip Theatre; Peter Nichols's Lingua Franca, in which a character from Nichols's Privates On Parade is working for a chaotically run language school in Florence in the 1950s, directed by Michael Gieleta, opening on 15th July, produced with The Cherub Company; and Michael Healey's The Drawer Boy, about an actor researching for a play who calls at a deserted Canadian farm where he unearths a devastating secret, directed by Eleanor Rhode, opening on 12th August, produced with Snapdragon.

Oxford Shakespeare Company will again be staging a season of open air performances, with a production of The Tempest, directed by Mick Gordon, at Gray's Inn in London, from 9th to 18th June; The Observatory Park in Greenwich, from 21st June to 3rd July; Wadham College Walled Garden in Oxford from 4th to 24th July and 4th to 20th August (where it will play in repertoire with Noel Coward's Private Lives, in which a divorced couple who, finding themselves honeymooning with new partners in adjoining suites in the south of France, also find that their relationship is actually not over); and the East Front Garden of Hampton Court Palace from 21st to 24th August.

The 63rd Aldburgh Festival will run from 11th to 27th June. Among the highlights will be the world premiere of Elliott Carter's What Are Years?, a setting of 5 texts by American poet Marianne Moore, with Claire Booth and Ensemble Intercontemporain; George Benjamin's Into The Little Hill, text by Martin Crimp, loosely based on the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Berio's Recital 1, text by Berio, Moretti and Sanguinetti, in which a singer is preparing to give a recital, but the pianist hasn't turned up, with Claire Booth and Susan Bickley; The Way To The Sea, an homage to Britten's On This Island, including newly commissioned film and installations at various locations; and Pierre-Laurent Aimard exploring unexpected connections between works in a solo piano recital Collage-Montage. As well as performances, there will be films, workshops, lectures, masterclasses, walks and other outdoor events. Further information can be found on the Aldburgh web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Bolshoi Ballet and Opera will return to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden from 19th July to 14th August, performing Spartacus, Coppelia, a double bill of Serenade and Giselle, a triple bill comprising Petrushka, Russian Seasons and Paquita, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The season is presented by Victor Hochhauser.

Theatreland: A Journey Through The Heart Of London's Theatre by Paul Ibell, published by Continuium Books, covers the period from Shakespeare's Bankside playhouses to today's West End, exploring both the history and current state of the London stage. Although the book celebrates London's artistic achievements of the past, it also emphasises that theatre is an art form that can only survive and flourish through fresh talent, new work and constant reinterpretation of old classics. In entertaining and engaging chapters on themes, personalities and trends, it reflects the co-existence between past and present that is such a feature of London's theatre world. It also shows how actors and producers, playwrights and publicists, theatre historians and modern architects, choreographers, critics and customers all play their part in ensuring that London remains the theatre capital of the world. The book brings back to life the generations of actors, impresarios, princes and playwrights who created and shaped this cityscape, and describes how the 21st century theatre industry continues to develop and change.

Colin Dexter's character Inspector Morse will make his first stage appearance in House Of Ghosts, an original story by Alma Cullen, who has adapted four of Dexter's novels for television, with Colin Baker, directed by Colin Hurford, which will open a regional tour at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage on 27th August. The plot involves an old acquaintance of Morse who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case that involves the on stage death of a young actress. The producer is Calibre Productions.

Theatre 6 will stage Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy, a comedy in which a couple try to piece together a relationship with the help of their respective therapists, with Felicity Davidson, Heather Gibbs, Tristan Matthiae, Alexander Moschos and Nick Whitley, directed by Kate McGregor, at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in Islington from 1st June.

This year's season at Garsington Opera, near Oxford, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', running from 2nd June to 3rd July, continues the policy of combining favourite operas with lesser known works. It comprises Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, directed by John Cox; Rossini's Armida, set in the Crusades with the leading characters faced with a choice between love and duty, directed by Martin Duncan; and Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Daniel Slater. Further information can be found on the GO web site via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.