News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th June 2011

Graham Linehan's stage adaptation of The Ladykillers, the legendary 1950s Ealing comedy film about a criminal gang posing as musicians in the house of a dotty old lady, with Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller, Stephen Wight, Clive Rowe and Marcia Warren, directed by Sean Foley, will open at the Gielgud Theatre on 7th December. The producers are Fiery Dragons and Stage Entertainment, in association with Liverpool Playhouse, where it will play a pre-West End season from 3rd November.

With 41,689 performances, of 2,542 shows (607 of which will be free), in 258 venues, involving 21,192 performers, the 64th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, running from 5th to 29th August, is once again bigger than ever, retaining its position as the world's largest arts festival. In fact, the number of shows has actually more than doubled since the year 2000. Some of the wackier events will include What Remains staged in the University of Edinburgh Medical School's Anatomy Department; Sailing On performed in a toilet; Alma Mater playing in a bedroom, care of an iPad; Even In Edinburgh/Glasgow staged on a train running between the two cities; and The Tour Guide touring the streets on an open top bus. Comedy makes up 37% of the programme, up 2% from last year, Theatre 30%, up 1% from last year, Music 14%, down 2 %, Musicals & Opera 3.5%, down 0.5%, Dance & Physical Theatre 3.5%, down 0.1%, Events 3.5%, down 1%, with Children's shows at 4% and Exhibitions at 2% both the same as last year. A new category of Cabaret makes up 2.5%. Further information and online booking can be found on the Edinburgh Fringe web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The new season at the Royal Court Theatre will include the premieres of Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Faith Machine, a global story embracing faith and capitalism, with Hayley Atwell, Ian McDiarmid, Kyle Soller, Jude Akuwudike, Bronagh Gallagher and Alan Westaway, directed by Jamie Lloyd, opening on 31st August; April de Angelis's Jumpy, which looks at the changing perceptions of life after the age of 50, with Tamsin Greig, directed by Nina Raine, opening on 19th October; Joe Penhall's Haunted Child, in which the behaviour of a small boy is driving his mother to distraction, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opening on 2nd December; and David Eldridge's In Basildon, set at a family gathering around the bed of a dying man, opening on 16th February.

New York TheatreNet: The Broadway League has announced that Broadway shows grossed a record breaking $1.08bn during the 2010/2011 theatre season (a 53 week period running fromn 24th May 2010 to 29th May 2011), up 5.9% from $1.02bn in 2009/2010, with 12.53m paid attendances, up 5.4% from 11.89m the previous year. In 2010/2011 there were 42 new productions, comprising 14 musicals, 25 plays, and 3 special events. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Emma Reeves's adaptation of Cool Hand Luke, Donn Pearce's novel about a jailed Second World War veteran, whose defiant spirit leads him to make numerous unsuccessful escape attempts, with Marc Warren, directed by Andrew Louden, will open at the Aldwych Theatre on 3rd October. The producer is Novel Theatre.

The autumn production at the Old Vic Theatre will be J M Synge's The Playboy Of The Western World, the turn of the 20th century comedy of self discovery in rural Ireland, with Robert Sheehan, Ruth Negga and Niamh Cusack, directed by John Crowley, opening on 27th September.

The Bush Theatre's first season in its new home in a former library will include Sixty Six Books, with 66 playwrights, poets, songwriters and novelists from 12 countries, including Jeanette Winterson, Carol Ann Duffy, Billy Bragg, Neil LaBute and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, responding to each of the books in the King James Bible, with Josie Rourke heading a team of directors, staged all over the building, opening on 14th October; Tom Wells's The Kitchen Sink, following a family and their ever sinking dreams, directed by Tamara Harvey, opening on 23rd November; Nancy Harris's Our New Girl, a thriller about a new nanny with a dark agenda, directed by Charlotte Gwinner, from 12th January; and the Tamasha production of Ishy Din's Snookered, which probes into the lives of three young British Muslim men as they meet on the anniversary of their friend's death, directed by Iqbal Khan, opening on 29th February.

The Warehouse Theatre in Croydon is holding its 26th International Playwriting Festival, in partnership with Italian festival Premio Candoni Arta Terme and Teatro Ena, Cyprus. It is in two parts: a competition for previously unproduced full length plays with entries from all over the world, leading on to the presentation of the best work in the festival on 4th and 5th March 2012. The deadline for entries is 31st July. Further information and an entry form can be found on the Warehouse web site via the link from the London Venues, in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Danger: Memory! , a double bill of play by Arthur Miller, comprising I Can't Remember Anything, in which an elderly couple remember past times - differently, and Clara, a detective story sparked by the murder of a young woman in the roughest part of New York, with David Burke, Anna Calder–Marshall, Adrian Grove, Laura Pyper, Rolf Saxon and Roger Sloman, directed by Ed Viney, will play at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, from 28th June. The producer is Blue Book Productions.

The award winning 2003 production of R C Sherriff's Journey's End, set in the trenches of the First World War, where a new arrival among a group of British officers is shocked to find the effect the experience has had on his former friend, with Graham Butler, Tim Chipping, Andy Daniel, Daniel Hanna, Simon Harrison, Nigel Hastings, Mike Hayley, Dominic Mafham, James Norton, Christian Patterson and Tony Turner, directed by David Grindley, will return to its former home, the Duke of York's Theatre, opening on 19th July.