News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th August 2012

Harold Pinter's Old Times, in which a couple are visited by an old friend and discuss incidents that may or may not have happened in their past, with Rufus Sewell, and Lia Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas alternating in the other roles, directed by Ian Rickson, will open at the Harold Pinter Theatre in January. The producer is Sonia Friedman Productions.

Peter Ackroyd's The Mystery Of Charles Dickens, the show that gives Simon Callow the opportunity to bring Charles Dickens to life, plus 49 of the characters he created, in a tour de force performance, directed by Richard Twyman, will open at the Playhouse Theatre on 17th September.

Keith Waterhouse's Good Grief, in which the widow of the editor of a tabloid newspaper discovers there is far more to life than death, with Penelope Keith, directed by Tom Littler, will open a prospective pre West End tour at the Theatre Royal in Bath on 25th September.

Mousetrap Theatre Projects has received the Sandford Award for Heritage Education. This is the first time the annual award, which recognises quality and excellence in educational services and facilities at a heritage site, has been presented to a British theatre education organisation. Mousetrap, which enables disadvantaged children or children with special needs to attend London theatre performances at low prices, was noted for its programme for deaf and hard of hearing young people, called StageSeen. The charity was founded in 1997 and provides in-school education programmes, community workshops, talks and masterclasses that use theatre to help children explore ideas.

New York TheatreNet: The annual Broadway On Broadway event, the free outdoor concert in Times Square celebrating the start of the new Broadway season, will be held at 11.30am on September 9th. It will feature performances from almost every musical current and upcoming on Broadway, backed by a 30 piece orchestra. The event is presented by the Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The West Yorkshire Playhouse production of the musical Loserville, by Elliot Davis and James Bourne, inspired by the Son of Dork album Welcome To Loserville, a story of everyday American teenagers in 1971, with Eliza Hope Bennett, Lil' Chris and Aaron Sidwell, directed by Steven Dexter, with choreography by Nick Winston, will transfer to the Garrick Theatre from 1st October.

Forthcoming productions at Watford Palace Theatre will include Neil Simon's Lost In Yonkers, about two young brothers left to live with a family in a town they don't know in 1942, directed by Derek Bond, opening on 19th September; Euripides's Medea, the story of a woman who avenges her husband's betrayal by killing their children, in a new version written and directed by Mike Bartlett, with Rachel Stirling, opening on 18th October, a co-production with Headlong Theatre, and Glasgow Citizens Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre; and Andrew Pollard's Mother Goose, with Terence Frisch, directed by Brigid Larmour, with choreography by Kate Flatt, opening on 7th December.

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 17th September. 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.

The King's Head Theatre, Islington, production of Tennessee Williams's Vieux Carre, set in a seedy boarding house in New Orleans run by a half mad landlady, with Hildegard Neil, Coughlan, Eva Fontaine, Anna Kirke, Jack McMillan, Paul Standell, David Whitworth and Tom Ross Williams, directed by Robert Chevara, will transfer to the Charing Cross Theatre, in The Arches under Charing Cross Station, from 14th August.

While its auditorium is being restored, Wilton's Music Hall, in Wapping, and Theatre of the Damned, will stage an immersive, promenade experience The Horror! The Horror!, in other parts of the building, drawing the audience into the action as rehearsals are under way for a new kind of music hall show in 1904, book by Tom Richards and Stewart Pringle, music and lyrics by Jeffrey Mayhew, directed by Tom Richards, from 24th October.

The autumn season at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester will include Alan Ayckbourn's Haunting Julia, a study of grief, obsession and the supernatural, with Duncan Preston, Richard O'Callaghan and Joe McFadden, from 29th August; Joseph Kesselring's Arsenic And Old Lace, the classic American black comedy in which two little old ladies poison 'sad and lonely old men' as a act of charity, and bury them in the basement of their Victorian home in Brooklyn, with Christine Absalom, Ignatius Anthony, Hester Arden, Thomas Richardson, Chris Staines and Tim Treslove, directed by Tony Casement, from 4th October; Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, examining the compromises women make in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind, through a mixture of contemporary and historical figures, with Amanda Haberland, Clare Humphrey, Kristin Hutchinson, Gina Isaac, Nadia Morgan, Shuna Snow and Amy Stacy, directed by Gari Jines, from 1st November; and Jack And The Beanstalk, written and directed by Janice Dunn, with Ignatius Anthony, Clare Humphrey, Dale Superville, Daniel Tawse and Jai Vethamony from 7th December.

The Rumour Machine says: that Imelda Staunton may star in a West End production of the Arthur Laurents-Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.