News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 13th July 2012

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its spring season in Stratford upon Avon. In the Royal Shakespeare Theatre: The Winter's Tale, directed by Lucy Bailey; Hamlet, with Jonathan Slinger, directed by David Farr; As You Like It, directed by Maria Aberg; and All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Nancy Meckler. In the Swan Theatre: the premiere of Tanika Gupta's The Empress, a 'Mrs Brown' style story about Queen Victoria and one of her Indian manservants, directed by Emma Rice; Titus Andronicus, directed by Michael Fentiman; Thomas Middleton's satirical Jacobean comedy A Mad World My Masters, directed by Sean Foley; and the premiere of an as yet untitled play by Mark Ravenhill, written in response to Voltaire's Candide, directed by Lyndsey Turner.

Roger Rees will perform his one man show What You Will, an autobiographical exploration of all things Shakespearean, at the Apollo Theatre from 18th September to 6th October.

The new season at the Unicorn Theatre at London Bridge will include Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, adapted for 7 to 10 year olds by Ignace Cornelissen, directed by Purni Morell, from 19th September; joined by Tim Crouch performing his one man version of the same play, I, Malvolio, from 3rd October; David Greig's Dr Korczak's Example, set in the final days of an orphanage in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw, directed by Rita Parry, from 23rd September; Mark Twain's The Prince And The Pauper, in which two 16th century lookalikes exchange stations in life, adapted by Jemma Kennedy, directed by Selina Cartmell, from 25th November; E V Crowe's Liar Liar, a contemporary story about a young girl who knows the truth can be dangerous, directed by Blanche McIntyre, from 31st January; and a modern version of classic Persian and Arabian stories 1001 Nights, adapted and directed by Douglas Rintoul, from 5th February.

On The Casting Couch: Julian Ovenden will be joined by Rosalie Craig, Oliver Boot, Norman Bowman, Claire Foster, Vince Leigh, Stuart Neal, Liz Robertson and Matt Wilman in the Allan Knee-Scott Frankel-Michael Korie musical Finding Neverland, opening at the Curve Theatre in Leicester on 2nd October; and Sally Ann Triplett and Hannah John-Kamen will head the cast of the musical Viva Forever!, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre on 11th December.

New York TheatreNet: Kinky Boots, a stage musical adaptation of the 2005 film, about how a conservative British shoe factory was saved from closing by producing fetish footwear at the suggestion of a drag performer, book by Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, with a cast headed by Stark Sands and Billy Porter, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, will open a prospective pre Broadway season at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in October, courtesy of producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftigm. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The autumn season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include in the Quarry Theatre: Tennessee Williams's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, set at a birthday celebration during which hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family, directed by Sarah Esdaile, from 6th October; and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows, adapted by Alan Bennett, additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams, directed by Ian Brown, from 24th November; and in the Courtyard Theatre: Steptoe And Son, featuring the characters from the television series by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, with Dean Nolan and Mike Shepherd, from 14th September, a co-production with Kneehigh theatre company; and Sleeping Beauty, from 7th December.

Forthcoming productions at the Old Red Lion at the Angel, Islington, will include Shakespeare's Henry V, in a contemporary production directed by Henry Filloux-Bennett, and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, the bloody Jacobean tale of lust and ambition, relocated to the 1980s, directed by Nicholas Thompson, playing in repertoire, opening on 2nd and 3rd August, with a company comprising Mark Field, Steve Fortune, Nicholas Kime, Jack Morris, Christine Oram and Henry Regan; and Kurt Vonnegut's Happy Birthday, Wanda June, in which a presumed dead American war hero of the 1960s returns home to find his family not as he left them, directed by Ant Stones, opening on 30th October, an Act Up production.

Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down: How One Generation Of British Actors Changed The World, by Robert Sellers, published by Preface Publishing, tells the story of the new generation of actors who came to prominence between the mid 1950s and mid 1960s, performing the works of the 'angry young men' writers. This new breed, many from working class industrial towns, who knew a kitchen sink when they saw one, including Alan Bates, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Tom Courtenay, Albert Finney, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, Robert Shaw and Terence Stamp, swept away the image of the middle class actor. They created a revolution, not only in their onstage and onscreen performances, but in the way they conducted their private lives, epitomising 'Swinging London'. Sellars brings alive the trail-blazing period of theatre and film through tales of their vibrant energy and exploits.

The autumn season at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh will include Michel Tremblay's The Guid Sisters, in a Scots translation by Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman, exploring the relationships between women in a Glasgow tenement in the 1960s, directed by Serge Denoncourt, from 21st September , a co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland; Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Matthew Lenton, from 19th October; and Cinderella, by Johnny McKnight, directed by Mark Thomson, from 29th November.

Daddy Cool, a compilation musical of the disco songs of Frank Farian, as recorded by Boney M and others, book by Amani Naphtali and Stephen Plaice, a contemporary 'Romeo And Juliet' style story about east and west London gangs, with Jane McDonald and Sheila Ferguson, will open a national tour at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton on 9th October.