News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th December 2012

The recent touring production of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, in a new adaptation by Jo Clifford, with Paula Wilcox, Paul Nivison, Grace Rowe, Jack Ellis and Chris Ellison, directed by Graham McLaren, will transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre, opening on 6th February. The producers are Beckman Unicorn and Satis House Productions.

Forthcoming productions at the Union Theatre, in Southwark, will include Fair Em, attributed by some to Shakespeare, a comedy in which a young aristocrat disguises herself as a country girl in order to escape persecution by William the Conqueror, with Caroline Haines, directed by Phil Willmott, opening on 10th January, produced by Claire Evans and The Steam Industry; and a revised version of the musical Chess, lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, set at the height of the Cold War, involving a romantic triangle between American and Russian players in a world chess championship, and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other, with Tim Oxbrow, Nadim Naaman, Sarah Galbraith and Natasha J Barnes, directed and staged by Chris Howell and Steven Harris, from 13th February.

New York TheatreNet: Horton Foote's The Trip To Bountiful, the story of an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son and domineering daughter in law, with Cicely Tyson, directed by Michael Wilson, will open at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on April 23rd. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The spring season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include in the Quarry Theatre: Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, in a revised version by Colin Teevan, directed by Dominic Hill, from 23rd February, a co-production with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow; and Sherlock Holmes - The Best Kept Secret, by Mark Catley, a new story featuring the characters of Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Nikolai Foster, from 18th May; and in the Courtyard Theatre: Benjamin Zephaniah's Refugee Boy, the story of an Ethiopian child abandoned in London, adapted by Lemn Sissay, directed by Gail McIntyre, from 9th March.

On The Casting Couch: James Dreyfus, Kerry Fox and David Dawson will feature in Noel Coward's The Vortex, opening at the Rose Theatre, in Kingston, on 13th February.

The spring season at Nottingham Playhouse will include Alan Ayckbourn's Joking Apart, which reveals the relationships of the friends of a perfect couple through a series of parties in their garden over a 12 year period, directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace, opening on 30th January, a co-production with Salisbury Playhouse; the British premiere of Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat, adapted and, directed by Teresa Ludovico, English version by David Watson, a darkly comic tale that slowly reveals its connection to one of the most famous fairy tales of all time, opening on 27th March, a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Teatro Kismet; the previously announced Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, a sprawling historical saga set in Afghanistan, following one man's journey to confront his past and find redemption, adapted by Matthew Spangler, directed by Giles Croft, opening on 30th April, a co-production with Liverpool Playhouse; and the return of Michael Pinchbeck's The Ashes, exploring the controversy surrounding England's 'bodyline' attack during the 1932 test match series against Australia, directed by Giles Croft, from 27th June.

Ghost The Musical, adapted from the 1990 film about a man trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phony psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer, book by Bruce Joel Rubin from his screenplay, music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Ashley Wallen, will open a national tour at the Wales Millenium Centre, in Cardiff on 10th April. The producers are David Ian Productions, The Ambassador Theatre Group, Colin Ingram, and Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle.

The spring season at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh will include Shelagh Delaney's A Taste Of Honey, the only 'angry young woman' play, presenting a slice of working class life in Salford, in the changing times of the late 1950s, directed by Tony Cownie, opening on 22nd January; J B Priestley's Time And The Conways, the story of a family that starts with hopes of new beginnings the end of the First World War, flashes forward to reveal how these have been dashed 20 years later at the approach of the Second World War, and then returns to the original scene, pointing up the irony its optimism, opening on 18th February, a co-production with Dundee Repertory Theatre; and Donna Franceschild's adaptation of her television series Takin' Over The Asylum, about the relationship that develops between a washed up DJ on a psychiatric hospital radio station and the patients, with Iain Robertson and Brian Vernel, directed by Mark Thomson, opening on 14th March, a co-production with the Citizens Theatre Glasgow.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Dept A reminder that this is the peak season for the purchase of Theatre Tokens. Available in units of 5, 10 and 20, they can be exchanged for tickets at over 240 venues nationwide, including all West End theatres. As they have no expiry date, the recipient can choose which show they want to see, and when and where they want to see it. The Tokens can be combined with gift packs, with a book or CDs and a card. Tokens are available from most theatres, major bookshops and ticket agencies, and the tkts Ticket Booths in Leicester Square and Brent Cross. Alternatively they can be bought direct from the Tokenline on 0844 887 7878 or online from the Theatre Tokens web site via the link from The Emporium in the Links section of TheatreNet. As they say, don't just give an object this Christmas - give an emotional experience like no other.

The Rumour Machine says: that Rocky The Musical, book by Thomas Meehan, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty, adapted from the 1976 movie, directed by Alex Timbers, originally scoffed at by Broadway producers, is receiving serious attention following its premiere in Hamburg; and that Cameron Mackintosh has plans for a new West End production of the Claude-Michel Schonberg-Alain Boublil musical Miss Saigon, which relocates the story of Madam Butterfly to the Vietnam War, following a new production in Japan, directed by Laurence Connor. The Rumour Machine grinds on.