News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th September 2011

The World Shakespeare Festival, part of next year's Cultural Olympiad, running from 23rd April to 25th November, overseen by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will feature 70 productions and exhibitions, involving over 50 arts organisations, and thousands of British and international artists. Among the highlights will be Simon Russell Beale in Timon Of Athens, directed by Nicholas Hytner, at the National Theatre; Jonathan Pryce in King Lear, directed by Michael Attenborough, at the Almeida Theatre; the Royal Shakespeare Company performing The Comedy Of Errors, The Tempest and Twelfth Night in Stratford and at The Roundhouse, and a site-specific production of Pericles, directed by Michael Boyd; Troilus And Cressida co-directed by Rupert Goold and Elizabeth LeCompte; Globe To Globe, with all 37 plays performed in 37 languages at Shakespeare's Globe; and an exhibition Shakespeare: Staging The World, about Shakespeare's London at the British Museum. Further information can be found on the WSF web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of TheatreNet.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park production of the Ken Ludwig-George/Ira Gershwin musical Crazy For You, in which an aspiring actor sent to close down a failing theatre falls for the owner's daughter and together they revive its fortunes, with Clare Foster, Sean Palmer, Kim Medcalf, Harriet Thorpe and David Burt, directed by Timothy Sheader, with choreography by Stephen Mear, will transfer to the Novello Theatre from 8th October.

The 18th London Open House, the annual scheme to allow the public into architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, takes place on 17th and 18th September. Over 700 locations will include old favourites of theatrical interest such as the Almeida, Hackney Empire, Lyric Hammersmith, Hoxton Hall, Richmond, Rose, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Young Vic theatres, the Royal Festival and Wigmore concert halls, BBC Bush House and Television Centre, Alexandra Palace TV studio, Granada Tooting, Phoenix Finchley, Muswell Hill Odeon and BFI Imax cinemas, and Sands Film Studio & Rotherhythe Picture Research Library. They will be joined this year by amongst others the Arcola, Royal Court and Victoria Palace theatres, Royal Albert Hall, BBC White City Media Village, Gaumont State Kilburn cinema, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music and Siobhan Davies Studios. There will also be talks, conducted walks and other accompanying special events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. Entrance is free, but because of limited access, a few of the buildings require prebooking. Further information can be found on the London Open House web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the current Chichester Festival Theatre production of the Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Nacio Herb Brown-Arthur Freed musical Singin' In The Rain, adapted from the film set in Hollywood in the early days of the talkies, with Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen, directed by Jonathan Church, with choreography by Andrew Wright, will be remounted at the Palace Theatre in January.

New York TheatreNet: a 'new' Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, book by Joe DiPietro, score from the George and Ira Gershwin back catalogue, a comedy about a Long Island playboy and his entanglements with bootleggers and gold diggers, featuring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, will open on Broadway in April. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the long running production of the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago, directed by Walter Bobbie, with choreography by Ann Reinking after Bob Fosse, which has just closed at the Cambridge Theatre, will reopen at the Garrick Theatre on 7th November.

The Old Vic Theatre is to stage Michael Frayn's Noises Off, showing the onstage and behind the scenes travails of a group of actors performing in a touring production of a farce, directed by Lindsay Posner, opening on 13th December.

On The Casting Couch: Tamsin Greig will be joined by Doon Mackichan, Seline Hizli, Richard Lintern, Michael Marcus, James Musgrave, Bel Powley, Ewan Stewart and Sarah Woodward in April de Angelis's Jumpy, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 19th October

Ghetto Klown, an autobiographical solo show written and performed by John Leguizamo, ranging from adolescent memories of living in Queens New York, through acting in 1980s avant-garde theater shows, to working on major films, directed by Fisher Stevens, which recently ran on Broadway, will play a season at the Charing Cross Theatre, in The Arches under Charing Cross Station, opening on 27th October. The producers are Steven M Levy, Sean Sweeney and Arnold Engelman for WestBeth Entertainment in association with the Soho Theatre.

As the picnic hampers and travel rugs are packed away for another year, Glyndebourne Touring Opera takes to the road until December, following a launch mini season of performances on its home turf from 8th to 29th October. The repertoire comprises: a new touring production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, with Jonathan Veira, directed by Mariame Clement; this season's new production of Handel's Rinaldo, directed by Robert Carsen; and David McVicar's 2000 production of Puccini's La Boheme.

The Rumour Machine says: that a stage adaptation of the 1992 film The Bodyguard, about the relationship of a singer and an ex-secret service agent hired to protect her from a stalker, book by Alex Dinelaris, with Heather Headley, directed by Thea Sharrock, will make its debut in the autumn of next year, courtesy of producers David Ian and Michael Harrison. The Rumour Machine grinds on.