News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th November 2010

Next year's season at Shakespeare's Globe, titled The Word Is God, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, will again run from Shakespeare's birthday, 23rd April. It will comprise: Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well from 27th April, and Much Ado About Nothing from 21st May; Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus from 18th June; The Globe Mysteries, lending a fresh perspective to the Bible stories told in the medieval Mystery Plays, from 5th August; the premiere of Chris Hannan's The God Of Soho, a satire on contemporary life from 27th August; and the return of Howard Brenton's Anne Boleyn, from 8th July; plus the touring company's pared down production of Shakespeare's Hamlet from 23rd April and an unstaged complete reading of the Bible over the Easter weekend. The 2010 season averaged a record breaking 91% capacity, with over 170,000 theatregoers paying 5 for a standing groundling ticket. Public booking for the 2011 season will open on 14th February.

The Barbican has announced the first part of its BITE: 11 season, in addition to the previously mentioned production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School For Scandal, a comedy exploiting the rumour, conspiracy and fraudsters of 18th century life, directed by Deborah Warner. Productions will include Toneelgroep Amsterdam's Antonioni Project, bringing the Italian director's films L'Avventura, La Notte and L'Eclisse to the stage, adapted by Bart Van den Eynde, directed by Ivo van Hove; the British premiere of The Blue Dragon, written, directed by and featuring Robert Lepage, revisiting a character from his The Dragons' Trilogy, produced by Ex Machina; the Australian Belvoir & Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of Tony Briggs's The Sapphires, in which a Supremes cover band formed by aboriginal sisters find realisation of a lifelong dream tests sibling love to its limits, directed by Wesley Enoch, with choreography by Tony Bartuccio; Bouffes Du Nord's production of Mozart's A Magic Flute, directed by Peter Brook; Cheek by Jowl's Russian company performing Shakespeare's The Tempest, directed by Declan Donnellan; Societas Raffaello Sanzio with The Minister's Black Veil, inspired by the Victorian gothic story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, directed by Romeo Castellucci; and the Australian new circus company Circa with Wunderkammer, directed by Yaron Lifschitz.

New York TheatreNet: DreamWorks Theatricals and Broadway Across America are to produce Madagascar Live, a stage musical adaptation of the animated animal films, book by Kevin Del Aguila, music and lyrics by Joel Someillan and George Noriega, directed by Gip Hoppe, with choreography by Jenn Rapp, opening a 70 city tour in January, playing Radio City Music Hall from 15th to 24th April. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

New Adventures Re:Bourne will stage the premiere of a dance adaptation of William Golding's Lord Of The Flies, devised and directed by Matthew Bourne, co-directed and choreographed by Scott Ambler, with music by Terry Davies, opening at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow on 2nd March. It will see the story of a group of schoolboys who are marooned on a desert island and soon fall into anarchy, relocated to a deserted theatre.

Batman Live, an arena show in which the DC Comics superhero will make his live debut, with an original story featuring sidekick Robin, butler Alfred, and enemies The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Penguin, directed by Anthony Van Laast, co-directed by James Powell, with aerialist consultants Juliette Hardy-Donaldson and Bryan Donaldson, will open a national tour at MEN Arena Manchester on 20th July, playing the O2 Arena from 29th August to 4th September. The producers are Warner Bros Consumer Products, DC Entertainment and Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme is launching a 600,000 pilot initiative for 40 graduates to take up placements with cultural organisations across the country for up to 12 months. Apprentices on the scheme will be paid 15,000 per annum pro rata. Placements are open to graduates who would not be able to take an unpaid internship. The DCMS and Arts Council England are funding the initiative, which is being managed by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Further information can be found on the JCF web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Anne-Marie Duff will head the cast of Terence Rattigan's Cause Celebre, opening at the Old Vic Theatre on 29th March; and Sharon D Clarke will be joined by Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman in Bruce Joel Rubin-Dave Stewart-Glen Ballard's Ghost The Musical, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre on 19th July.

The Puppet Theatre Barge, currently moored at its winter home in Little Venice, is presenting weekend performances of Shakespeare's The Tempest, told with carved wood and blown glass marionettes, during November; Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, presented with marionettes and shadow puppets in December and January, with daily performances over Christmas; and Joey's Circus Comes To Town, a new show featuring the further adventures of the characters from the story of Punch and Judy, told with marionettes, from January to March. The 50 seater theatre created on a canal barge, now in its 28th season, presents marionette and rod puppet spectacles throughout the year. The company also runs schools workshops.

The new Waterloo East Theatre, under Waterloo East station, is to stage the British premieres of two Off Broadway musicals. An anglicised version of the GrooveLilly show Striking 12, book and lyrics by Brendan Milburn, Valerie Vigoda and Rachel Sheinkin, and music by Vigoda, with Simon Bailey, John Banister, Rebecca Bainbridge, Natasha Barnes and Roger Woods, directed by Simon Greiff, will open on 9th December. The grown-up bedtime story tells of a grumpy overworked city dweller who resolves to spend New Year's Eve alone in his apartment, when an unexpected visitor brings some much needed cheer. The children's show Pinkalicious, book and lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, adapted from their book of the same name, music by John Gregor, will open on 13th December, playing daytime performances. It is the story of a girl who can't stop eating pink cupcakes and eventually turns pink from head to toe.

Christie's is holding a sale of Film And Entertainment Memorabilia at 85 Old Brompton Road, London, at 2pm on Thursday 25th November, with viewing from 20th to 24th November. It will feature 139 lots with actors autographs and photographs (both signed and unsigned), costume designs, costumes, original animation artwork, letters, magazines and items including a fez worn by Tommy Cooper, an air pistol used by Sean Connery as James Bond, an original Marilyn Monroe calendar, a Darth Vader costume from The Empire Strikes Back, and a miniature skeleton used in the making of the original King Kong film. Further information can be found on the Christie's web site via the link from The Emporium in the Links section of TheatreNet.