News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th November 2012

The spring season at the Royal Court Theatre will include Anders Lustgarten's If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep, which criticises the ethos of austerity and offers an alternative, grappling with the complex question of national debt, directed by Simon Godwin, opening on 20th February, presented as a 'production without decor', a concept that was a regular feature at the Royal Court in the 1960s; and Bruce Norris's The Low Road, a 'fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism', telling the story of a young entrepreneur who sets out on a quest for wealth with priceless ambition and a purse of gold, directed by Dominic Cooke, opening on 27th March.

Digital Theatre is to launch a new service offering online distribution of filmed theatre, opera, ballet and dance from other producers. Digital Theatre Collections will begin with Shakespeare's Globe's 2010 season productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Henry VIII, previously shown in cinemas.

The spring season at Sheffield Theatres will include in the Crucible: D H Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law, charting the uneasy relationship between a miner, his mother, and his new wife, with Lynda Baron and Claire Price, directed by Paul Miller, from 27th February; and Alan Bennett's The History Boys, which questions the purpose and means of education, directed by Michael Longhurst, from 16th May; and in the Studio: the premieres of Mike Bartlett's Bull, about office politics and/or playground bullying, directed by Clare Lizzimore, from 6th February; and the musical This Is My Family, by Tim Firth, about a teenager who enters a writing competition to win a holiday for her dysfunctional family, with Janie Dee, Sian Phillips, Bill Champion, Evelyn Hoskins, Terence Keeley and Rachel Lumberg, directed by Daniel Evans, from 19th June.

New York TheatreNet: The musical Thirteen Things About Ed Carpolotti, book, music, lyrics and direction by Barry Kleinbort, based on the play by Jeffrey Hatcher, the story of a woman's struggle to overcome the mistakes of the past without diminishing the love for her husband, with Penny Fuller and Paul Greenwood, will play at 59E59 Theaters from December 4th. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

August Wilson's Fences, which tells of the struggle of a former Negro League baseball player who finds himself working as a garbage collector in 1950s Pitsburgh, with Lenny Henry, directed by Paulette Randall, will open a prospective pre West End tour at the Theatre Royal Bath in the week commencing 18th February.

The spring season at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester will include To Kill A Mockingbird, Christopher Sergel's adaptation of Harper Lee's novel about prejudice in a small southern town during the American great depression of the 1930s, directed by Max Webster, opening on 25th February; the premiere of Rory Mullarky's Cannibals, about a woman's journey in a war torn country, directed by Michael Longhurst, opening on 8th April; Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, in a version by Bryony Lavery, in which a woman rebels against the confines of her marriage, with Cush Jumbo, directed by Greg Hersov, opening on 6th May; Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, in which a musician's dull life is threatened by the arrival of two mysterious strangers, directed by Blanche McIntyre, opening on 10th June; and Alexandr Ostrovsky's Too Clever By Half, a satire about a young scoundrel who is out to climb to the top of bourgeois society regardless of what it takes, directed by Paul Hunter, opening on 15th July, a co-production with Told by an Idiot.

The Kneehigh Theatre Company/West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Steptoe And Son, featuring the characters from the television series by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, with Dean Nolan and Mike Shepherd, will transfer to the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, opening on 20th March

On The Casting Couch: Kevin R McNally, Daniel Lapaine and Indira Varma will feature in August Strindberg's Dance Of Death, opening at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 17th December; and American actors Jared Gertner and Gavin Creel will head the cast of the Trey Parker-Matt Stone-Robert Lopez musical The Book Of Mormon, opening at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 21st March.

At the 23rd Empty Space Peter Brook Awards, for the support of new writers and directors in small studio spaces that receive comparatively little or no public funding, the main prize for went to the Finborough Theatre, for the way that it combines programming new writing with revivals. The Yard Theatre, in Hackney took the Dan Crawford Innovation Award for its avant-garde theatre and stimulating use of space; the new Peter Brook/Mobius award for studio theatres developing writers and companies went to the Lowry; the Red Handed Theatre Company received the Equity Ensemble Award; the Instant Classics Company in association with White Bear Theatre won the Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award to enable them to produce new work; and the Special Achievement award went to Stephen Daldry and Ruth Mackenzie for their work during the Olympics in emphasising theatre in a sports-oriented event.

Dreamthinkspeak, the company that specialises in site specific theatre, will stage In The Beginning Was The End, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, The Book of Revelation and the world of Mechatronics, at Somerset House from 28th January to 30th March. The production will create a journey, through the maze-like underground passages and unseen spaces of Somerset House and King's College into a world of calamitous accidents and divine revelations. Mixing Leonardo-inspired hydraulics and modern mechanical engineering with film, installation and live performance, it will reveal a vision of the world either on the verge of collapse - or the brink of rebirth.