News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th February 2012

Chichester Festival Theatre has announced its 50th Anniversary season. In the Festival Theatre: William Congreve's restoration comedy The Way Of The World, with Penelope Keith, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh; the premiere of Hugh Whitemore's A Marvellous Year For Plums, a political thriller centred on the Suez Crisis in 1956, directed by Philip Franks; the musical Kiss Me, Kate, book by Sam and Bella Spewack, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, the backstage story of a touring production of The Taming Of The Shrew, directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Stephen Mear; George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, events at country house party weekend involving an eccentric old sea captain, his two impossible daughters, and a variety of husbands, suitors and long lost relations, with Derek Jacobi, directed by Richard Clifford; and Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra, with Michael Pennington and Kim Cattrall, directed by Janet Suzman.

In the Minerva Theatre: Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, in a translation by Michael Frayn, a story of unrequited love, dogged perseverance, and the strength of the human spirit, with Roger Allam, Dervla Kirwan and Timothy West, directed by Jeremy Herrin; the premiere of Michael Wynne's Canvas, about three couples' attempt to get away from it all on a glamorous camping holiday, directed by Angus Jackson; Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, which satirises the rise of Hitler in Germany through the story of a Chicago gangster's takeover of the city's greengrocery trade, translated by Stephen Sharkey, with Henry Goodman, directed by Jonathan Church; two plays written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn in repertoire, the premiere of Surprises, set in the future while its characters hearts remain tied to the past, and Absurd Person Singular, three couples and the events that take place in their kitchen, during three successive Christmas Eve gatherings; and Noel Coward's Private Lives, about a divorced couple who, finding themselves honeymooning with new partners in adjoining suites in the south of France, also find that their relationship is actually not over, with Anna Chancellor and Toby Stephens, directed by Jonathan Kent. In addition there will be a temporary third auditorium built on Oaklands Park, called Theatre on the Fly, which will feature new work.

New York TheatreNet: Lincoln Center Theater's new stage, a 131 seater venue built on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont Theater as a home for LCT3, the initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, which will be known as the Claire Tow Theater, has announced its first production. Greg Pierce's Showgirl, the story of a young woman who flees to her reclusive uncle's retreat in the Costa Rican jungle to escape the aftermath of a horrific accident, directed by Anne Kauffman, opening on 18th June. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Arthur Wing Pinero's Dandy Dick, about a clergyman who gambles on a horse to raise funds for his church, with Nicholas Le Prevost and Patricia Hodge, will open a prospective pre London tour at the Theatre Royal Brighton on 25th June.

The Great Gatsby, a play with period music, adapted and directed by Peter Joucla from F Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s novel about the destructive effects of the pursuit of money, will be staged as a 'immersive event' at Wilton's Music Hall, in Wapping, opening on 25th April. Meanwhile, The Great Gatsby Musical, adapted directed by Linnie Reedman, music by Joe Evans, will open at the King's Head Theatre, in Islington, on 10th August. The producer is Ruby in the Dust.

The spring season at the Bush Theatre in Shepherd's Bush will include the premieres of Lee Mattinson's Chalet Lines, a family drama set in Butlins holiday camp in Skegness, directed by Madani Younis, opening on 12th April, a co-production with Live Theatre Newcastle; a double bill of solo works, comprising You're Not Like the Other Girls, written and performed by Caroline Hoton, set in newly liberated Paris in 1945 as a woman looks back on an affair, directed by Omar Elerian and Daniel Goldman, and Dry Ice, written and performed by Sabrina Mahfouz, about a young girl trying to find her place in the world, directed by David Schwimmer, from 8th May; Amir Nizar Zuabi's The Beloved, based on the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, opening on 25th May, a production by Palestinian theatre company ShiberHur; and the premiere of Fear, written and directed by Dominic Savage, looking at the effects on a young banker and his attacker when a late-night robbery goes wrong, opening on 21st June. In addition, Gbolahan Obisesan's Mad About The Boy, about a teenage boy fighting to save his reputation, torn between the influence of his family, his friends and school, directed by Ria Parry, will inaugurate the studio space, from 28th May.

On The Casting Couch: Eve Best will be joined by Tom Bateman, Mark Bonnar, Harry Lloyd and Finbar Lynch in John Webster's The Duchess Of Malfi, opening at the Old Vic Theatre on 28th March.

Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre are inviting further applications for a New Producer's Bursary. The bursaries are intended to support individuals in progressing their careers as theatre producers. Successful applicants will be able to use the bursary to develop and/or present a new production, or to support themselves while being an intern at an approved producer's office. In addition to a broad package of financial assistance of up to 15,000 per applicant, the scheme also provides the benefit of an established industry figure as a mentor for the project, and possibly shared office accommodation in Central London. The closing date for this round of applications is 2nd March. Further information and an application form can be found on the Stage One web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.