News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th February 2011

The nominations for this year's Laurence Olivier Awards, Britain's premier theatre awards, given by the Society Of London Theatre, are dominated by the National Theatre with 17, including Terence Rattigan's After The Dance with 6, including Revival (Play), Nancy Carrol - Actress (Play) and Thea Sharrock - Director, Fela!: New Musical and Sahr Ngaujah - Actor (Musical), and Hamlet: Rory Kinnear - Actor (Play); the Royal Court Theatre with 9, including Clybourne Park: New Play, Sophie Thompson - Actress (Play) and Dominic Cooke - Director; and the Donmar Warehouse, also with 9, including Passion: Revival (Musical), Elena Roger - Actress (Musical) and David Thaxton - Actor (Musical), and King Lear: Derek Jacobi - Actor (Play) and Michael Grandage - Director. Other featured shows include Love Never Dies with 7, including New Musical, Sierra Boggess - Actress (Musical) and Ramin Karimloo - Actor (Musical); Legally Blonde with 5, including New Musical, Sheridan Smith - Actress (Musical) and Alex Gaumond - Actor (Musical); and Love Story: New Musical, Emma Williams - Actress (Musical) and Michael Xavier - Actor (Musical). The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 13th March, which for the first time will be broadcast live across the BBC. Voting is now open to choose the winner of the Audience Award, giving theatregoers the chance to honour their favourite long running West End show. The full list of nominations and the voting form can be found on the SOLT web site via the link opposite and below.

On The Casting Couch: Linda Bassett, Amanda Hale, Jo McInnes, Paul Ready, Tom Sturridge and Angus Wright will feature in Simon Stephen's Wastwater, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 5th April; and Eve Best and Charles Edwards will head the cast of Much Ado About Nothing, opening at Shakespeare's Globe on 26th May.

Self styled 'psychological illusionist' Derren Brown will bring his new stage show Svengali, written by Brown, Iain Sharkey and Stephen Long, directed by Polly Findlay, to the Shaftesbury Theatre from 13th June to 16th July, following a 73 date tour. The producers are Michael Vine, Andrew O'Connor and Corrie McGuire.

The Little Angel Theatre in Islington, the 'National Theatre' of British puppetry, will celebrate its 50th birthday with a year long series of events, which will include: a new family production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Peter Glanville, in April; a team of trainee marionettists performing a revival of the theatre's first ever production, the Edwardian farce The Wild Night Of The Witches, in August; the announcement of the first Little Angel Puppetry Award, established to honour individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to British puppetry, during the Suspense London Puppetry Festival of adult works in October and November; and a new show inspired by a short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, directed by film director Joe Wright (whose parents founded the Little Angel), created by John, Lyndie and Sarah Wright, in collaboration with Kneehigh Theatre, in December.

New York TheatreNet: The Public Theater's 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season will run from June 6th to July 31st at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, comprising All's Well That Ends Well directed by Daniel Sullivan, and Measure For Measure directed by David Esbjornson. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

La Soiree, the show that mixes cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety, whose season on the South Bank ends shortly, will return next Christmas, playing at the Roundhouse at Chalk Farm, from 23rd November to 29th January.

The London Handel Festival runs from 14th March to 1st May, with highlights including: a fully staged performance of Rodelinda, in collaboration with the Royal College of Music International Opera School; Saul, with Lucy Crowe, Sophie Junker, Iestyn Davies, Nicholas Mulroy and Njal Sparbo; a masterclass with Dame Emma Kirkby; and the Bach St Matthew Passion. Events are mainly at St George's Church Hanover Square (best known as setting for the celebration of Alfred Doolittle's nuptials in My Fair Lady) plus the Foundling Museum, the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music, and the Wigmore Hall. Further information can be found on the LHF web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres will include in the Everyman: Shakespeare's Macbeth, with David Morrissey and Jemma Redgrave, directed by Gemma Bodinetz, opening on 12th May, the theatre's last major production before it undergoes a 28m redevelopment; and in the Playhouse: Oedipus, adapted from Sophocles and directed by Steven Berkoff, with Simon Merrells, Louise Jameson, Ian Drysdale, Vincenzo Nicoli, Anthony Barclay, Sean Buckley, Mark Frost, Christopher Hogben, Alex McSweeney, Eoin McCarthy and Anthony Ofoegbu, opening on 23rd February, co-production with Nottingham Playhouse.

Move It 2011, the annual dance exhibition at Olympia from 11th to 13th March, will bring together all kinds of dance, with 100 performances, 220 classes at all levels, 20 seminars, 19 masterclasses, fashion shows and 180 commercial exhibitors. 45 minute taster classes, in everything from bollywood to ballroom, jazz to street, and ballet to salsa, costing just 3.85, will run continuously in 7 studios from 10.30am to 7pm on the first two days and 4.30pm on the final day. Running in tandem will be Perform 2011, a new event for anyone looking for a career in acting, singing, performance, stage management and technical theatre. It will offer opportunities to meet industry experts, get career advice, and learn new skills, with over 30 exhibitors, and 26 free workshops covering all aspects of performance and levels of experience, which will run continuously throughout the event.

The Rumour Machine says: that Samantha Womack will head the cast of the Lincoln Center Theater New York production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sherr, which will open a national tour at the Barbican in August, where it will return for a Christmas season; and that the recently opened production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour will be remounted on Broadway in the autumn or early next year with, other commitments permitting, the full original cast, headed by Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss. The Rumour Machine grinds on.