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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th August 2008

The Chichester Festival/Headlong Theatre production of Rupert Goold and Ben Power's contemporary reworking of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters In Search Of An Author, in which six characters invade the editing of a documentary film and insist on being allowed to tell their story, directed by Goold, with Ian McDiarmid, Noma Dumezweni, Jamie Bower, Eleanor David, Dyfan Dwyfor, Christine Entwisle, Denise Gough, Jake Harders, Jeremy Joyce, John Mackay, Freya Parker and Robin Pearce, will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre, opening on 15th September. It will be presented by Carole Winter and Michael Edwards.

Museum of London archaeologists working in Shoreditch have uncovered what they believe to be the foundations of London's first public playhouse, called The Theatre, which was established by actor manager James Burbage in 1576. It was where William Shakespeare performed as an actor as part of The Lord Chamberlain's Men company, and where some of his earliest plays were first staged. After Burbage's death in 1597 a tenancy dispute led his sons to dismantle the timber building, transport it south of the river to Bankside, reassemble it, and re-christen it the Globe. The remains of brick foundations, on which The Theatre stood, were found during the excavation of the site at New Inn Broadway, in preparation for the building of a new theatre by Tower Theatre Company. As with the remains of the Rose Theatre, discovered in 1989, the foundations will be preserved within the new building.

The British premiere of Andrew Upton's Riflemind, will feature John Hannah and Paul Hilton, joined by Susan Prior, Steve Rodgers and Jeremy Sims from the original Sydney Theatre Company production, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, opening at Trafalgar Studios 1 on 18th September. The action takes place at the reunion of a rock band 20 years after their frontman walked off stage for good, which becomes a test of talent, friendship and loyalty. The production marks the start of a creative partnership between Trafalgar Studios and Sydney Theatre Company, of which Upton and his wife Cate Blanchett are artistic directors.

The Clwyd Theatr Cymru production of Jonathan Lichtenstein's Memory, with Ifan Huw Dafydd, Daniel Hawksford, Guy Lewis, Simon Nehan, Vivien Parry, Oliver Ryan and Tom Shepherd, directed by Terry Hands, opens a national tour at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven on 1st September, which includes a season at Pleasance London in Islington opening on 1st October. It is an exploration of how people choose to remember events and the consequences of those choices, relating to East Berlin in 1990 when the wall has just come down, and Israel a generation later as the security barrier goes up.

Scottish Ballet's autumn tour, which opens at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on 18th September, has a repertoire comprising the premiere of Ashley Page's Pennies From Heaven, an interpretation of a range of popular songs from the 1930s; Stephen Petronio's Ride The Beast, a celebration of raw energy and creativity set to five tracks by Radiohead; and Trisha Brown's For MG: The Movie, inspired by film techniques to a specially commissioned soundscape by Alvin Curran. It will be followed by a tour of Ashley Page's The Sleeping Beauty, opening at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on 6th December.

Forthcoming productions at the New End Theatre in Hampstead will include Karen Malpede's Prophecy, a funny yet fierce American anti war play, with Susan Penhaligon, George Bartenieff, Michael Roberts, Najla Said, Jos Vantyler, directed by Ninon Jerome, from 3rd September, a Theater Three Collaborative production; Alan Frank's Augusta, in which an evening that starts out as a comedy of manners turns into a terrifying confrontation with the past, with Antonia Frering, directed by Chrys Salt, from 8th October, a Bare Boards ... And A Passion production; Laughing In The Dark, the story of a holocaust ventriloquist, written and performed by Graeme Messer, directed by Chrys Salt, from 14th October, an Out Of Bounds/Bare Boards ... And A Passion co-production; and Ray Kilby and John Steinberg's In The Balance, an American political farce involving computerised and compulsory voting, directed by Ray Kilby, from 5th November.

The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds will be the centre of a new Georgian Gems Festival running from 5th to 21st September, with events celebrating its Georgian heritage, including Elizabeth Inchbald's comedies Wives As They Were, And Maids As They Are, originally attacked as subversive for its portrayal of women in Georgian society, and Animal Magnetism, inspired by characters of the Commedia dell'Arte, playing in repertoire, with Michael Burrell, Alex Caine, Laura Doddington, Ursula Early, Karen Elliot, Giles Faulkener, Tim Frances, Jo Tincey, James Wallace and John Webb, both directed by Colin Blumenau, plus talks, performances, recitals, open days and Georgian pastimes and food and drink (a very important part of Geogian life).

Don't Look Now, adapted by Nell Leyshon, from Daphne du Maurier's supernatural thriller set in Venice, about a couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their child, with Rula Lenska, James Gaddas and Nicola Bryant, directed by Ian Dickens, has just opened a regional tour at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust offers Travelling Fellowships to enable British citizens to acquire knowledge and experience abroad in their chosen professional field. Performing and creative arts is one of the categories for the 2009 awards, and the Trust is keen to receive applications from those involved in teaching, developing and participating in Fine Arts, Drama, Dance and Music. The closing date for submissions is 14th October. Further information and an online application form can be found on the WCMT web site, via the link from the Organisations section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Calendar Girls, adapted by Tim Firth from the 2003 film, about the members of the WI who posed for a calendar naked, but with their modesty preserved by artfully placed cakes, knitting and flower arrangements, with an all star cast led by Patricia Hodge, Lynda Bellingham and Sian Philips will be West End bound following its regional tour; and that Peter Flannery's adaptation of the 1994 Russian film Burnt By The Sun, which exposed the savagery of the Stalinist regime in the 1930s, will open at the National Theatre next spring, directed by Howard Davies. The Rumour Machine grinds on.