News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th March 2005

This year's Glyndebourne season, running from 19th May to 28th August, will include two new productions: Rossini's La Cenerentola, directed by Peter Hall, with Maxim Mironov, Simone Alberghini, Luciano Di Pasquale, Raquela Sheeran, Lucia Cirillo, Ruxandra Donose and Nathan Berg; and Handel's Giulio Cesare, directed by David McVicar, with Sarah Connolly, Patricia Bardon, Angelika Kirchschlager, Rosemary Joshua, Christophe Dumaux, Christopher Maltman and Rachid Ben Abdeslam. There will be four revivals: Adrian Noble's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflote; Nikolaus Lehnhoff's production of Smetna's The Bartered Bride; Peter Hall's production of Verdi's Otello and Richard Jones's production of Dove's Flight. There is a programme of early evening talks about each of the operas at The Inner Temple in London prior to the start of the season, study mornings at Glyndebourne giving historical background and musical analysis of the new productions, and pre performance talks on each of the productions. Further information can be found on the Glyndebourne web site via the link from Regional Theatres in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Jonny Lee Miller, Aidan Gillen and David Threlfall are to star in Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, opening at the New Ambassadors Theatre on 19th April. Based on the kidnappings in Beruit in the 1980s, it is about the ongoing relationship of three hostages - one American, one Irish and one English - being held by Middle Eastern terrorists. It will be directed by Dominic Dromgoole and produced by Background Productions.

The Royal Festival Hall is to stage Theatre Of The New Ear, a double bill of readings of screenplays, accompanied by live music and sound effects, on 13th May. The films featured will be Joel and Ethan Coen's Sawbones and Charlie Kaufman's Hope Leaves The Theatre, with a score by Carter Burwell. The performers will be Meryl Streep, Steve Buscemi, Hope Davies, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter Dinklage and Brooke Smith, who will premiere the event in New York from 28th to 30th April at St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.

The summer season at Sadler's Wells will include the UK premiere of a new dance version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, adapted, directed, choreographed, starring and produced by Adam Cooper, from 26th July to 14th August. Adapted from the 18th century novel by Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos, it is the story of a game of sexual corruption, deceit and betrayal, as two aristocrats scheme to seduce two innocent victims. The production received its world premiere in Tokyo in January, when it also starred Sarah Wildor and Sarah Barron. Other visiting companies include The Ballet Boyz with Naked, a new work by Russell Maliphant; Nederland Dans Theater with Jiri Kylian's One Of A Kind; principals and soloists from the Royal Danish Ballet with a group of works by August Bournonville; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with a programme that includes Ailey's most famous work Revelations; and the world premiere of Zero Degrees, a collaboration between performers Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, sculptor Antony Gormley and composer Nitin Sawhney.

It's Official! As previously forecast here Helen McCrory, Sienna Miller and Dominic West are to star in As You Like It, directed by David Lan, opening at Wyndham's Theatre on 21st June. The producer is Sonia Friedman in association with the Young Vic.

This year's Peter Hall Company season at the Theatre Royal in Bath will run from 22nd June to 3rd September, and will comprise: Noel Coward's iconic relationship comedy Private Lives, directed by Thea Sharrock; Much Ado About Nothing, with Janie Dee and Sam Kelly, directed by Peter Hall; George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell, a comedy of love, marriage, courtship, social station and the changing role of women in society, with Edward Fox, directed by Peter Hall; and the 50th anniversary production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, the British premiere of which Hall directed at the Arts Theatre in 1955.

The spring season at the Soho Theatre includes Matt Charman's A Night At The Dogs, about four friends who buy a greyhound hoping it will change their lives - it does, but not in the way they were expecting, with Joe Armstrong, Trevor Cooper, Mark Hadfield, David Hounslow and Neil Stuke, directed by Abigail Morris, from 11th April to 14th May; Douglas Maxwell's Mancub, adapted from John LeVert's novel The Flight Of The Cassowary, the story of a boy who seems to be turning into an animal, directed by Matthew Lenton, from 31st May to 18th June, a collaboration with Vanishing Point; and Rebecca Lenkiewicz's Shoreditch Madonna, tale of love and loss set against the underground art world of London's new East End, directed by Sean Mathias, from 6th to 6th August.

On The Casting Couch: Michael Pennington, Brid Brennan, Sean Campion, Tom Goodman-Hill, Paul Higgins, Anna Madeley and Stuart McGugan star in David Grieg's The Cosmonaut's Last Message To The Woman He Once Loved In The Former Soviet Union, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 12th April.

The 28th London Handel Festival runs from 13th March to 15th May. There are 21 events - many of which are free - including the opera Ezio, directed by William Relton; a Cantatathon, with Handel's entire repertoire of Cantatas for solo voice and continuo, performed in one six hour session; Music for the Royal Fireworks; the 4th Handel Singing Competition; Carolyn Sampson singing a programme of virtuoso works; and the European premiere of a new edition of the dramatic oratorio Samson. 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 Britten Theatre and Recital Hall at the Royal College of Music, and the Handel House Museum. Further information can be found on the LHF web site via the link from the Festivals section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that the National Theatre production of Kwame Kwei-Armah's Elmina's Kitchen, which is currently touring, may find a West End home at the Garrick Theatre at the end of April; that the Gate Theatre Dublin's premiere production of Brian Friel's play The Home Place, starring Tom Courtenay, directed by Adrian Noble, may transfer to the Comedy Theatre in May; that Adrian Noble is also working with Roger Waters and book writer Lee Hall on a stage musical version of Pink Floyd's The Wall; and that Peter Schaufuss's Diana The Princess, which he styles as 'a musical without words', currently receiving its UK premiere at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, featuring Zara Deakin, also has designs on a move to London in May; and that Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q, a kind of adult Sesame Street with a mixture of real and puppet performers, is looking for a West End production next spring. The Rumour Machine grinds on.