News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th September 2012

The groundbreaking musical A Chorus Line, originally conceived, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, which charts the lives and dreams of a group of dancers as they audition for a new Broadway show, directed and choreographed by original co-choreographer Bob Avian, will open at the London Palladium on 19th February. The producers are Mark Goucher, Adam Kenwright, ACT Productions, Tim Lawson, Daniel Sparrow and Mike Walsh Productions.

The new season at the Donmar Warehouse will comprise an all female production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, with Harriet Walter, Frances Barber, Cush Jumbo and Jenny Jules, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, opening on 4th December; Arthur Wing Pinero's Trelawny Of The Wells, about an actress who finds it hard to leave the stage when she marries into society, directed by Joe Wright, opening on 26th February; and Connor McPherson's The Weir, in which men in a pub swap ghost stories, directed by Josie Rourke, opening on 25th April. The theatre is introducing a 10 ticket scheme, which will see two thirds of the venue's front row seats held back from general sale, and then released every Monday for the week of performances two weeks ahead.

A new 30 minute play by Caryl Churchill, Ding Dong The Wicked, about family dysfunction, with Claire Foy, Daniel Kendrick, Stuart McQuarrie and Sophie Stanton, directed by Dominic Cooke, will play matinee and late night performances alongside Churchill's Love And Information at the Royal Court Theatre from 1st to 13th October.

Forthcoming productions at Southwark Playhouse, at London Bridge, will include premiere of Nicholas Pierpan's You Can Still Make A Killing, about a man who is unsure if he is a victim of the banking crisis or an unwitting perpetrator, with Alecky Blythe, Kellie Bright, Robert Gwilym, Marianne Oldham and Tim Delap, directed by Matthew Dunster, opening on 12th October; the musical Victor/Victoria, book by Blake Edwards, music by Henry Mancini and Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, about a penniless British soprano in 1930s Paris, who hits on the idea of claiming to be the world's greatest female impersonator in order to further her career singing in nightclubs, with Anna Francolini, directed by Thom Southerland, with choreography by Lee Proud, opening on 1st November, produced by Danielle Tarento; and the premiere of Philip Ridley's Feathers In The Snow, an epic story of magic and migration covering over 500 years, directed by David Mercatali, opening on 7th December.

New York TheatreNet: Motown, a back catalogue musical based on the life of Berry Gordy, the record producer who founded the Motown label, book by Gordy, with Brandon Victor Dixon and Valisia Lekae, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, with choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, will open on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, on April 14th. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

R&H Theatricals, the musical theatre licensing company, whose repertoire includes the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and Kurt Weil, as well as many contemporary writers, is to open a London office next January, to oversee the European licensing of its catalogue, which is currently administered by Josef Weinberger.

The autumn season of contemporary dance at The Place in Euston, will include the Richard Alston Dance Company performing the premiere of Madcap by Martin Lawrance; Avant Garde Dance with The Black Album, comprising Another New Day, A Classical Break and Dark Matter, set to jazz, classical and electronic scores by Tony Adigun; Vincent Dance Theatre performing Charlotte Vincent's Motherland; and choreographer and dancer Rosemary Butcher's double bill After Kaprow.

On The Casting Couch: Anna Carteret, Richard Durden, Ellie Turner, Peter Ellis and Susan Penhaligon will feature in Stanley Houghton's Hindle Wakes, opening at the Finborough Theatre on 13th September; Douglas Henshall, Mark Gatiss, Abigail Cruttenden and Robert Hammond will feature in Howard Brenton's 55 Days, opening at Hampstead Theatre on 24th October; Janie Dee, Henry Lloyd Hughes, Kevin Doyle and Sacha Dhawan will feature in Lucy Kirkwood's NSFW, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 31st October; Ken Stott, Anna Friel and Samuel West will be joined by Laura Carmichael in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, opening at the Vaudeville Theatre on 2nd November; and Douglas Hodge will lead the company of the David Greig-Marc Shaiman-Scott Whitman musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory opening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June.

The autumn season at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton will include Tennessee Williams's Tiger Tail, his stage adaptation of his script for the 1956 film Baby Doll, the steamy Southern tale of a man and his child bride, directed by Patrick Sandford, opening on 2nd October; and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the iconic 18th century adventure story of swashbuckling pirates and the search for buried treasure in the Caribbean, also directed by Patrick Sandford, opening on 11th December.

Mr Broadway: The Inside Story Of The Shuberts, The Shows, And The Stars by Gerald Schoenfeld, published by Applause Books, brings the reader backstage, where the long-term chairman of the Shubert Organization shares his triumphs and failures, sings praise, and settles scores. Schoenfeld recounts nightmarish tales of the Shuberts, themselves - the meanness of Lee, the madness of JJ, the turmoil surrounding John's personal life, and the drunken ineptitude of Lawrence Shubert Lawrence, Jr, the man who succeeded them and nearly brought the Shubert legacy to an ignominious end. An active participant in that legacy for over 50 years, Schoenfeld describes his rise from low level legal assistant to chairman, and how he and his partner, Bernard Jacobs, saved the Shubert Organization, bringing some of Broadway's greatest hits to its 17 stages.

The Edinburgh Festival hit Flash Mob, featuring television talent show dancers Charlie Bruce, The Elektrolytes, Alleviate and Brosena, choreographed by Gary Lloyd, will play a 3 week season at the Peacock Theatre from 16th October.