News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th March 2012

Paul Merton's new stand up show Out Of My Head, also featuring Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster, which is currently touring, will play at the Vaudeville Theatre from 1st to 20th October.

The autumn season at the Barbican will include TR Warszawa's Nosferatu, inspired by Bram Stoker's novel and the vampiric myth of life after death and the regenerating power of blood, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna, from 31st October; and Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Barcelona International Theatre's Forests, written by Calixto Bieito and Marc Rosich, exploring how Shakespeare used forests in his work, performed by a cast of English and Catalan actors, directed by Calixto Bieito, from 6th November.

The award winning Edinburgh Fringe production An Instinct For Kindness, written and performed by Chris Larner, based on his experience of the assisted suicide of his ex-wife, directed by Hannah Eidinow, will open at the Trafalgar Studios 2 on 11th April.

New York TheatreNet: The Broadway League has published its survey of the 2010/2011 season, based on data collected at 27 productions over 78 performances, selected to represent a variety of Broadway offerings and performances through the year. Overall Broadway admissions reached a record high of 12.5m, with a gross of $1,080,562,880. Of those, 47.6% were ticket buyers living outside the New York area, while 14.1% were people from other countries, down from 16.5% the previous year. Women continued to be the majority of audiences, making up 65.1% of the total, but there was a rise in young ticket buyers, as the average theatregoing age dropped from 45 to 44, and the number of theatregoers under 18 rose to 1.3m from 1.06m. The average Broadway theatregoer saw 5 shows, and fans who attended 25 or more shows accounted only for 3.3% of the total theatre audience, 84,753 theatregoers, but this translated into 20.3% of total Broadway admissions, with 2,542,594 visits to the theatre. Newspaper reviews had more influence in determining whether audience members saw a play as opposed to a musical, 26.5% to 11.6%, but personal recommendations were a more persuasive factor for musicals as opposed to plays, 32.2% to 24.8%. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Ovation will stage Chris Burgess's Iceberg, Right Ahead!, an account of the last 12 hours in the life of the RMS Titanic, with Julien Ball, Rosalind Blessed, Steven George, Katharine Gwen, Amy Joyce Hastings, Liam Mulvey, Jamie Partridge, Nathalie Pownall and Matthew Walker, directed by John Plews, at Upstairs at Gatehouse Theatre, in Highgate, from 22nd March.

The summer season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough will include the premiere of Fiona Evans's Geordie Sinatra, a dark comedy about a ex club singer's descent into dementia, directed by Chris Monks, from 16th May, a co-production with Live Theatre Newcastle; Absurd Person Singular, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, about three couples and the events that take place during three successive Christmas Eve gatherings, from 8th June, a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre; the premiere of a double bill about two couples in Scarborough, comprising Lost by Jane Thornton, directed by Chris Monks, and Found, written and directed by John Godber, from 29th June, produced in association with the John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield; the premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Surprises, set in the future while its characters hearts remain tied to the past, from 12th July, a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre; and Soul Man, written and directed by Chris Monks, a musical freely adapted from Verdi's Rigoletto and Victor Hugo's Le Roi S'Amuse, relocating the story to 1970s Yorkshire, from 3rd August.

The spring season at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton will include Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy, in which the defence of a boy expelled from school for stealing becomes a cause celebre, with Iestyn Arwel, Charlie Covell, Huw Higginson, Ted Holden, Christopher Ravenscroft, Georgina Strawson, Suzan Sylvester and Christopher Villiers, directed by David Thacker, from 29th March; Ron Rose's The Queen Of The North, a bioplay about the actress Pat Phoenix, who played Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street, with Paul-Ryan Carberry, Phil Cobitt, Charlie Covell, Sally Hodgkiss, John McArdle and Lynda Rooke, directed by Elizabeth Newman, from 3rd May; and Jim Cartwright's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, about a mousey girl who lives through impersonating singers such as Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey, directed by Elizabeth Newman, from 31st May.

Silver Thread Productions will stage Roger Milner's How's The World Treating You?, a comedy about a mother's unrealistic dreams for her son's career, with Ian Barritt, Gilian Call and Matthew Carter, directed by Stephen Glover, opening at the Union Theatre, in Southwark, on 14th March.

Garsington Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', will stage the 2nd season in its new home at the Wormsley estate, near Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire, from 2nd June to 3rd July. Performances are in the new 600 seat glass 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 Don Giovanni, directed by Daniel Slater; Offenbach's La Perichole, about an impoverished Peruvian street singer, directed by Jeremy Sams; and Vivaldi's L'Olimpiade, in which rivals on the Olympic race track are also rivals in love, directed by David Freeman; plus Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Karen Gillingham, at West Green House. Further information can be found on the GO web site via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Andrew Lloyd Webber would like the Stratford Ontario production of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Des McAnuff, which is currently previewing on Broadway, to transfer to the Palace Theatre, where the original production had a record breaking run; and that Nicole Kidman may star in a Broadway transfer of the 2010 National Theatre production of Terence Rattigan's After The Dance, directed by Thea Sharrock, next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.