News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th September 2009

The Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park has announced its 2010 season, which will run from 24th May to 11th September, and comprise: Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which equates the 17th century Salem witch trials to the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigation into communist activity in America in the 1950s, directed by Timothy Shreader; Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors; the musical Into The Woods, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, in which characters from a number of fairytales don't live happily ever after, directed by Timothy Shreader; and as the daytime production, Shakespeare's Macbeth, reimagined for young audiences.

Ennio Marchetto, the world's only 'living origami transformationist', will open a tour of his latest show Ennio: The Paper Cartoon, at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness on 28th September, with dates including the Purcell Room an the Southbank Centre from 11th to 20th December. Marchetto uses paper costumes and physical comedy to morph into a succession of parodies of famous celebrities. The show will feature around 50 characters from his repertoire of over 200, including a few new ones making their debut, such as Lady Gaga and Susan Boyle.

Also at the Southbank Centre, Sandi Toksvig's Christmas Cracker, a traditional variety show featuring Sandi Toksvig, Ronnie Corbett and other comedians, musicians and magicians, plus Dillie Keane's re-working of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, conceived by Sandi Toksvig and Jude Kelly, directed by Fiona Laird, will run from 15th to 24th December at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Donmar Warehouse is to stage rehearsed readings of two of Tennessee Williams's lesser known plays. Alun Armstrong, Felicity Jones, Alison Steadman, Denis Lawson, Obi Abili, Tom Riley, Tim Steed and Una Stubbs will perform A House Not Meant To Stand, a family drama following a funeral in a Mississippi household, directed by Jamie Lloyd, on 14th September; and Nigel Harman, Claire Foy, Christian Contreras, Nigel Cooke, Garry Cooper, Nicky Henson, Rory Keenan, Lauren O'Neil, Con O'Neill, Robert Rees, Stark Sands, Paul Shelley, Sara Stewart and Benny will perform Young Fugitive Kind, a story of star crossed lovers in a St Louis flophouse, directed by Roisin McBrinn, on 15th September.

Alistair McGowan's first play, Timing, a comedy exploring love, work and fatherhood, with Edward Baker-Duly, Dean Gaffney, Paul Bazely, Matt Cross, Louise Ford, Peter Hamilton Dyer and Georgia Mackenzie, directed by Tamara Harvey, will premiere at the King's Head Theatre in Islington on 7th October. The producers are Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer.

On The Casting Couch: Jessica Hynes and Rachael Stirling will be joined by Charlotte Riley and Alistair Mackenzie in The Priory, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 26th November; and Peter Davison and Jill Halfpenny will join Sheridan Smith, Duncan James, Alex Gaumond, Susan McFadden and Aoife Mulholland in Legally Blonde The Musical, opening at the Savoy Theatre on 13th January.

Silence! The Musical, the New York Fringe Festival spoof comedy musical of the film The Silence Of The Lambs, book by Hunter Bell, music and lyrics by Jon and Al Kaplan, directed by its original directed Chrisopher Gatelli, will receive its British premiere at the Baron's Court Theatre on 20th October. The producer is Imperial Productions.

Having been pipped at the post by a rival West End production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, producer Sonia Friedman, director Richard Eyre and actress Kim Cattral will now collaborate on a production of 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, which will open a prospective pre London tour at the Theatre Royal in Bath on 22nd February. Duncan Weldon will co-produce.

Sunny Thompson will perform Greg Thompson's Marilyn: Forever Blonde,, a one woman show with songs about the life of Marilyn Monroe, directed by Stephanie Shine, opening at the Leicester Square Theatre on 22nd October.

The arena style production of J M Barrie's Peter Pan, adapted by Tanya Ronder, with the audience surrounded by CGI 3D projected scenery designed by William Dudley, featuring Ciaran Kellgren and Jonathan Hyde, directed by Ben Harrison, which is just completing its run in a specially constructed pavilion in Kensington Gardens, will be restaged at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, from 1st December to 10th January. The producers are Charlie Burnell and Mat Churchill.

The Rumour Machine says: that the recent Royal Court Theatre production of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, a picture of contemporary rural England, featuring Mark Rylance, will be remounted in the West End in January; that the Chichester Festival/Royal Court production of Lucy Prebble's Enron, based on the scandal surrounding the fraudulent activities of American energy company, will transfer to Broadway in April; and that the Edinburgh Fringe production of Tim Whitnall's one man play Morecambe, with Bob Golding as Eric Morecambe, is West End bound. The Rumour Machine grinds on.