News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th May 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a stage version of Breakfast At Tiffany's, adapted by Samuel Adamson directly from Truman Capote's novella, rather than the film, with Anna Friel and Joseph Cross, directed by Sean Mathias, will open the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 29th September. Set in New York in 1943, it is the story of a poor writer in love with a girl who needs rich, but as she begins falls for him, her past catches up with her. It is produced by Colin Ingram in association with the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Meanwhile, following the postponement Samuel Adamson's other new play The Quiet Island, Nicholas Wright's Mrs Klein, about the relationship of the controversial child psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and her own daughter, directed by Thea Sharrock, will open at the Almeida Theatre on 29th October.

The autumn season at Sadler's Wells will include: In The Spirit Of Diaghilev, with new works by Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant and Javier de Frutos; Svapnagata, a two week festival showcasing Indian and British Asian arts, featuring 60 artists including Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan collaborating on a new work Confluence; the the world premieres of Paco Pena's Flamenco Sin Fronteras, and Morphoses/the Wheeldon Company's piece by Tim Harbour; the UK premieres of Rosas's Rosas danst Rosas and Zeitung, Kidd Pivot's Lost Action, and Mark Morris Dance Group's Empire Garden and Visitation; plus Akram Khan Company with bahok; Scottish Ballet performing a Triple Bill; Rambert Dance Company with the London premiere of Comedy Of Change; Birmingham Royal Ballet performing Cyrano and the London premiere of The Centre And Its Opposite; Carlos Acosta in a new work Young Apollo; and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Longborough Festival Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', presents its 20th season, running from 10th June to 22nd July. It comprises new productions of Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro, directed by Jenny Miller; Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Richard Studer; and a Young Artists' production of Puccini's La Boheme, directed by Maria Jagusz; plus a revival of Alan Privett's production of Bizet's Carmen. In order to accommodate a dinner interval performances generally begin at 6.30pm. Further information can be found on the LFO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Westminster City Council has given its approval for the rebuilding of the Westminster Theatre in Palace Street, near Buckingham Palace, following its destruction by a 'mysterious' fire during a long drawn out planning process. Building work will commence within the next month with an opening scheduled for next summer. The new 8 storey complex, designed by Loates-Taylor Shannon, will include a 314 seater auditorium designed by Tim Foster, a smaller space for cabaret and music performances, a restaurant/bar and 35 flats. It will be run by London Aloft, comprising chief executive Stephen Mitchelson, artistic director Gregory Thompson and patron Steven Berkoff, who aims to direct at least one production a year at the venue, although it will initially operate as a receiving house.

Ross Noble will bring his new show Things to the Apollo Theatre for a 6 week season from 14th September. The producer is Mick Perrin for Just for Laughs Live. Dylan Moran will follow on at the Apollo Theatre, with a 6 week run of his new show What It Is from 26th October.

On The Casting Couch at the Royal Court Theatre: Mark Rylance, Mackenzie Crook and Gerard Horan will feature in Jerusalem, opening on 15th July; and Tom Goodman-Hill, Tim Pigott-Smith and Samuel West will lead in Enron, opening 22nd September.

Teachers now have access to an official web site that provides information about which London shows offer discounts and education programmes to school parties. Learn About London Theatre provides an opportunity for venues to list shows, workshops and educational initiatives, and enable teachers to find programmes relevant to the age and curriculum of their school group, and link them to sites where they can make bookings. The web site has been set up by the Society of London Theatre in partnership with children's charity Mousetrap Theatre Projects, which encourages young people's involvement with theatre. To celebrate its launch the site is running a competition with a chance for one teacher to win theatre tickets for their entire class to a show of their choice. Further information can be found on the LALT web site, via the link from Information in the Links section of TheatreNet.

La Clique, the cabaret, burlesque and new circus show, which must vacate the London Hippodrome on 27th June, prior to the conversion of the building into a casino, will return to the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm on 25th November for a Christmas season. It is produced by La Clique Productions, Mark Rubinstein, and Mick Perrin for Just For Laughs Live.

The next production at Theatre 503 in Battersea will be Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, with David Harewood and Lorainne Burroughs, directed by James Dacre, opening on 12th June. The play imagines a meeting in a hotel room on the night before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, in which he is forced to confront his past and the future of his people.

The 31st Association of British Theatre Technicians Theatre Show will take place at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London on 10th and 11th June. As usual, it will be the complete theatre package, featuring the products of over 130 leading lighting, sound and staging manufacturers, costume, prop and scenery makers, and suppliers of seating and soft furnishings, box office and IT systems, print and publicity, insurance and legal services, drama schools, training and safety, books and publications, and leading theatre organisations. There will also be the presentations of the ABTT and Stage Management Association Awards. Further information and online registration can be found on the ABTT and SMA web sites, via the links from Organisations, in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Oxford based Creation Theatre Company divides its time between performing Shakespeare seasons indoors at the BMW car factory in Cowley in winter, and outdoors in the summer. This year it is presenting Twelfth Night, directed by Heather Davies, at Oxford Castle, from 26th June to 29th August; and Antony And Cleopatra, directed by Abbey Wright at the Said Business School Amphitheatre in Oxford, from 10th July to 5th September.