News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th April 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Harold Pinter's Betrayal, the semi autobiographical play about adultery, whose story unfolds backwards, with Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Miles and Douglas Henshall, directed by Ian Rickson, will open at the Comedy Theatre on 16th June. The producer is Sonia Friedman Productions.

This year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, which runs from 24th to 2nd July, features processions, pyrotechnics and performance from major international companies, all free and taking place outdoors. Highlights include: the premiere of Tangled Feet's All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, a poetic exploration of urban regeneration from, directed by Kat Joyce and Nathan Curry; a new version of Ted Hughes's children's story The Iron Man, adapted by Paul Sirrett, directed by Jenny Sealey, with an iron giant as tall as a double decker bus; and the return of Compagnie Off with Les Girafes, featuring a herd of life sized bright red giraffes accompanied by pyrotechnic effects and music. Further information can be found on the G&DIF web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

New York TheatreNet: David Eldridge's Under The Blue Sky, a darkly comic play about a group of teachers revealing secrets about the nature of love and friendship, both true and unrequited, with Richard Hollis, Elizabeth Jasicki, Sarah Manton, Christine Rendel, Victor Villar-Hauser, Stuart Williams, directed by Paula D'Alessandris, will receive its New York premiere at the Kraine Theatre from 19th May. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Once again Shakespeare's birthday will receive a celebration at Shakespeare's Globe. On Saturday 16th April there will be the traditional Sonnet Walks, during which twelve sonneteers will entertain walkers along routes to Bankside. There is a choice of two routes through Tudor London, starting from Westminster Abbey or St Leonard's Church in Shoreditch. Walks leave every 15 minutes from 11.45am to 12.45pm. On the day itself, Saturday 23rd April, the season will officially open with a performance of the small scale touring production of Hamlet, with Joshua McGuire, Jade Anouka, Amanda Hadingue and Simon Armstrong, directed by Dominic Dromgoole.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will celebrate Shakespeare's birthday with a festival on Saturday 30th April in Stratford upon Avon. Events taking place around the town will include the annual procession from Shakespeare's Birthplace to his grave at the Holy Trinity Church at 10.30am.

Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company will stage Oliver Lansley and Tomas Gisby's The Vaudevillains, a macabre murder mystery musical set in a Victorian music hall, with Trevor Jary, Anthony Spargo, Rachel Dawson, Oliver Lansley, Rebecca Bainbridge, Elizabeth Marsh, Alice Anthony, Robine Landi, Philip Oakland and Keith Hill, directed by Elgiva Field and James Seager, opening at the Charing Cross Theatre (formerly the New Player's Theatre) Under The Arches off Villiers Street on 20th April.

On The Casting Couch: Imogen Stubbs, Doreen Mantle, Jonathan Cullen, Nadine Lewington, Robin Pearce Finn Bennett and Lino Faciol will comprise the cast of Henrik Ibsen's Little Eyolf, opening at the Jermyn Street Theatre, on 5th May.

Further productions announced at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston include a rarely performed double bill of David Mamet's Lakeboat, revealing the mundane lives and fantastic dreams of the crew of a lakeboat, and Prairie du Chien, in which passengers on a cross country night train tell tales of obsession, jealousy and death, with Nigel Cooke, Ed Hughes, Chris Jarman, William Jeffs, Rory Keenan, Mark Lewis, Roy Sampson, Steven Webb and Nigel Whitmey, directed by Abbey Wright, opening on 15th April; and Adam Brace and Sebastian Armesto's The Four Stages Of Cruelty, inspired by the series of engravings of William Hogarth, about the struggle to survive on the streets of Georgian London, opening on 27th May, a simple8 production.

This year's season of Garsington Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', is the first in its new home at the Wormsley estate, near Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire, from 2nd June to 5th July. Performances will be in a specially erected 600 seat opera pavilion, encompassing stage and audience, designed by Robin Snell. The season continues the policy of combining favourite operas with discoveries of little known works, comprising Mozart's The Magic Flute, Rossini's Il Turco in Italia and the British premiere of Vivaldi's La verita in cimento, about the consequences of a Sultan revealing that his two sons (by wife and mistress) were switched at birth, directed by David Freeman. Further information can be found on the GO web site via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith will include William Lyons's Wittgenstein (The Crooked Roads), which investigates the strangeness of memory and the radical power of thought, directed by Nick Blackburn, from 19th April, produced by Fleet Productions; and Alecky Blythe's verbatim play Do We Look Like Refugees?!, based on interviews in a Georgian refugee settlement following the war in 2008, performed by the Georgian Rustaveli Theatre, from 19th May.

The Union Theatre production of Darren Murphy's Irish Blood, English Heart, an exploration of memories and how they can shape our lives, with Howard Teale, Ian Groombridge, Oliver Gilbert and Carolyn Tomkinson, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, will be remounted at the Trafalgar Studios 2, opening on 4th May. The producers are Ray Suede Productions in association with Ancient Lights Theatre Company.