News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th August 2003

Peter Hall's production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, starring Janie Dee, Aden Gillett and Hugo Speer, which is part of his repertory season at the Theatre Royal Bath, is transfer to the Duchess Theatre on 8th October. The semi autobiographical play is the story of a wife who has a long term affair with her husband's best friend, which starts with the crumbling of the marriage and unravels backwards in time to the night the affair began. Hall directed the original production of the play at the National Theatre in 1978.

The Royal Opera House has announced its next ROH Too series of innovative and experimental small scale dance, opera and music events, staged in the Linbury Studio Theatre, Clore Studio Upstairs and Vilar Floral Hall. There are visits by outside companies such as Music Theatre Wales with the UK premiere of Ion, with music by Param Vir and libretto by David Lan based on the Euripides play; Marvin Khoo Dance performing new and recent works; and Theatre Francais de la Musique with Poulenc's La Voix humaine and Chabrier's Une Education manque. Festival Of Firsts presents mixed programmes of new artists in new works in different art forms, while NITRO at the Opera comprises newly commissioned works for the classical voice from nine Black composers. As part of the programme matching contemporary choreography with classically trained Royal Ballet dancers to create new work, there will be the premiere of Cathy Mason's Broken Fiction. The popular Tea Dances with the New Covent Garden Band will continue. Full details can be found on the ROH web site via the link from the London Venues section of TheatreNet.

Neil Pearson and Julian Glover star in Ronald Harwood's Taking Sides, directed by Deborah Bruce, which starts a prospective pre London tour on 21st October at the Theatre Royal Bath. The play pitches art against politics in imagining what occurred during the interrogation of Willhelm Furtwangler, conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra throughout the Nazi era, by Major Steve Arnold, an American working for the De-Nazification Tribunal in post-war Germany. Gwen Taylor and Duncan Preston star in George Bernard Shaw's Arms And The Man, directed by Timothy Sheader, which opens a regional tour at the Theatre Royal Norwich on 17th September. The comedy is a tale of mistaken identities and chaotic love triangles revealing the perils of love and war. Both shows are produced by The Touring Partnership.

Maria Friedman is taking her award winning one woman show to the Cafe Carlyle in New York from 23rd September to 11th October. Previously Maria Friedman: By Special Arrangement, and now retitled Maria Friedman: From London To New York, the show comprises new arrangements of show songs and standards together with some less well known numbers. Friedman will be accompanied on two pianos by Michael Haslam and Chris Walker, and her first night will be introduced by Barbara Cook.

Edinburgh Fringe Report: For the third year running, comedian Ross Noble will transfer his Edinburgh show to the West End. This year it's Unrealtime, which will play at the Garrick Theatre from 1st to 27th September.

Stephanie Cole is to star in a regional tour of The Shell Seekers by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, adapted form the novel by Rosamunde Pilcher, directed by David Taylor. It is a saga of three generations, moving between the Second World War and the present day, which is sparked into life when the matriarch discovers the true value of a family painting, and her children want to sell it to gain their inheritance, even if this tears the family apart.

The autumn season at the Peacock Theatre includes visits by Shaloin Monks - Wheel Of Life, the martial arts spectacular, from 8th September to 4th October; Tango Passion, the celebration of the Argentinean speciality, from 10th to 18th October; and Rennie Harris Puremovement with Students Of The Asphalt Jungle, a programme combining classics created over the last ten years with new works, from 21st to 25th October.

George Bernard Shaw's rarely performed John Bull's Other Island, with Niall Buggy, Ewen Cummins, John Dougall, David Ganly and Michael O'Hagan, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, will play at The Tricycle Theatre from 15th September to 11th October. The development of a golf course in a rural Irish community provides the backdrop for a satire on English and Irish stereotypes. Kat And The Kings, the South African musical about a 1950s harmony group, by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen, returns to The Tricycle from 10th December to 8th February.

The Public Theater will stage the New York premiere of the long awaited John Kander and Fred Ebb musical adaptation of Friedrich Durrenmatt's The Visit in its Newman Theatre in March. The show has a book by Terrence McNally, direction by Frank Galati and choreography by Ann Reinking. Chita Rivera will star as a woman driven by a decades old desire for revenge, after being let down by a lover in her youth, who returns to her home town with an offer to salvage it from economic hard times - but at a price.

The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith has announced the remainder of its autumn season. Joining the previously mentioned visit by Shared Experience's Madame Bovary will be: Pericles, with Adoja Andoh, Bette Bourne, Angela Down, and Will Keen, directed by Neil Bartlett, from 18th September to 18th October; Frantic Assembly's new show Rabbit, by Brendan Cowell, directed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, about MC Spin's first meeting his girlfriend's parents where the expected shocks come in the unexpected direction, from 20th to 25th October; Cinderella, directed by Dan Jemmett, from the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, from 28th November to 6th January; and Tamasha Theatre Company's Strictly Dandia, written and directed by Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, with music by Shrikanth Sriram, a sort of Indian Strictly Ballroom, from 15th January to 14th February.

The Rumour Machine says: that Guy Pearce may star in a West End production of Tennessee Williams The Night Of The Iguana; and that the sell out National Theatre production of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, with Simon Russell Beale, Essie Davis and Nicholas Woodeson, may transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre in October. The Rumour Machine grinds on.