News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th April 2002

Stephen Adly Guirgis Jesus Hopped The A Train, the first play in the Donmar Warehouse American Imports season, is to transfer to the Arts Theatre on 24th April. The American cast led by John Ortiz and Salvatore Inzerillo, and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, will continue for an eight week season. It is the story of two men awaiting trial for murder, one an 'innocent', one a serial killer, struggling to come to terms with what they have done. The production was an Off Broadway hit and won a Fringe First at last year's Edinburgh Festival.

Chichester Festival Theatre has announced its 40th anniversary season running from 15th May to 5th October. The Festival Theatre productions are: Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's comedy The Front Page, set in a 1920s Chicago court newsroom, featuring Michael Pennington, directed by Doug Wager; Jean Anouilh's rarely performed Wild Orchids, translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker, starring Patricia Routledge, a 1930s story of a prince's mourning for his love who died after only days, directed by Edward Kemp; Kander and Ebb's musical Cabaret, based on the play by John van Druten from the stories by Christopher Isherwood, about the decadent nightlife of Berlin in the 1930s, directed Lucy Bailey; and Romeo And Juliet, with a cast including Paul Shelley and Una Stubbs, directed by Indhu Rubasingham.

The Minerva Theatre productions are: Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not For Burning, a comedy set in a condemned cell in the 15th century, directed by Samuel West; Up On The Roof, the story of a group of students told through 1970s pop songs; Blunt Speaking, a new one man show about the spy Anthony Blunt, written and performed by Corin Redgrave, directed by Mark Clements; the world premiere of Christopher William Hill's Song Of The Western Men, a black comedy set on the Isles of Scilly in 1939, directed by Andy Brereton; and Terry Johnson's "custard pie tragi-comedy" Dead Funny, directed by Loveday Ingram.

The archive of Ralph Richardson has been acquired for the nation by the British Library, which already holds the collections of Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. The materials include correspondence from many theatrical figures, drafts of speeches and sketchbooks, and annotated copies of Shakespeare plays, along with two boxes of photographs, and his flying log book from his time as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. A selection is already on display.

The Royal Shakespeare Company production of Martin McDonagh's new play The Lieutenant Of Inishmore will transfer to the Garrick Theatre on 26th June. A bloody black farce about a cat loving IRA dissident in the Irvine Welsh Celtic urban violence tradition, it was hailed as an orgy of bad taste in its RSC appearances.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is reviving The Hollow Crown, John Barton's entertainment on the theme of Kingship, made up from letters, speeches, poems, songs and music. The production will open a tour of Australia and New Zealand in April, arriving in Stratford in the week commencing 15th July. It will feature Derek Jacobi, Ian Richardson and Donald Sinden, plus Diana Rigg in the Antipodes - although she is not confirmed for Stratford. Barton will direct.

Garsington Park Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', will feature the British premiere of Janacek's first opera as part of a double bill in this year's season, running from 16th June to 13th July. It comprises Janacek's Sarka & Osud, directed by Olivia Fuchs, Rossini's La gazza ladra directed by Daniel Slater, and Mozart's Don Giovanni directed by Stephen Unwin. Further information can be found on the GPO web site via the link from the Dance, Opera, Orchestra & Choirs section of TheatreNet.

The fourth season of The Cabaret Hour at The Jermyn Street Theatre on Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm, runs from 12th April to 24th May. Each night features a different artist, and among those taking part are Louise Gold, Alexandra Jay, Nancy Anderson, Sarah and Alice Redmond, Adele Anderson and John Barr.

Tim Firth is writing the book for Our House, the musical using songs of the 1980s band Madness, which will open at the Cambridge Theatre on 15th October. It will be two different versions of a north London boy's life told at the same time (Sliding Doors style) as he makes a choice of either right or wrong in deciding to commit a crime. Matthew Warchus will direct, and the producers are Andre Ptaszynski, Rupert Lord and Tiger Aspect. Warchus may follow this with the stage musical version of The Color Purple on Broadway.

Puremovement is retuning to the Peacock Theatre with Rome & Jewels from 29th May to 22nd June The Caps and the MonsterQs go head to head in a B-Boy/Hip Hop gang story, using street dance, video, three DJs and the spoken word of an MC/rapper in a radical reworking of the Romeo and Juliet story.

Imprint, the Royal Court Theatre's Young Writers Festival is seeking submissions of new work for consideration for this year's event in the autumn. It is open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 25, and the deadline for entries is 31st May. Further information and a submission form can be found on the Royal Court web site via the link from the London Venues section of TheatreNet. The Royal Court is running behind the scenes tours on 27th April and 29th June at 12.30pm - call the Box Office on 020 7565 5000 to reserve tickets.

The Rumour Machine says: that Simon Williams is adapting Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Hound Of The Baskervilles for the West End stage, which Paul Farrah will produce; and that Sheriden Morley is to make his second foray into directing in the West End with Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden in the autumn, with Bill Kenwright producing. The Rumour Machine grinds on.