News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th July 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, James Goldman's 1965 play The Lion In Winter, about a Christmas family celebration of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, will receive its West End premiere, with Joanna Lumley and Robert Lindsay, directed by Trevor Nunn, opening at the Haymarket Theatre on 15th November.

The next production at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark will be the world premiere of Saul Rubinek's Terrible Advice, examining friendships and relationships, with Caroline Quentin, Andy Nyman and Sharon Horgan, directed by Frank Oz, opening on 29th September.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the National Theatre production of Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, which relocates Carlo Goldini's The Servant Of Two Masters to 1960s Brighton, with James Corden, Oliver Chris, Jemima Rooper, Daniel Rigby, Martyn Ellis, Suzie Toase, Trevor Laird, Claire Lams and Fred Ridgeway, directed by Nicholas Hytner, will transfer to the Adelphi Theatre, opening on 21st November, following its national tour.

On The Casting Couch: Ralph Fiennes will be joined by Nicholas Lyndhurst, Giles Terera, Julian Wadham, Clive Wood, Elisabeth Hopper and Chris Andrew Mellon in Shakespeare's The Tempest, opening at the Haymarket Theatre on 6th September; and Antony Sher and Tara Fitzgerald will be joined by Caroline Loncq, Brian Protheroe, Suzan Sylvester and Stanley Townsend, in Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, opening at the Vaudeville Theatre, on 16th September.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, when its current Tony Award winning Broadway run has ended, the Royal Court Theatre production of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, a comic picture of contemporary rural England, with Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook, directed by Ian Rickson, will return to its previous West End home, opening at the Apollo Theatre on 17th October.

New York TheatreNet: FringeNYC, the 15th annual New York International Fringe Festival, running from 12th to 28th August, will present the work of over 200 theatre companies from around the world, including The Legend Of Julie Taymor, or The Musical That Killed Everybody!, book and lyrics by Travis Ferguson, music and lyrics by Dave Ogrin, directed and choreographed by Joe Barros, imagining the behind-the-scenes events in the making of the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, examining the compromises women make in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind, through a mixture of contemporary and historical figures, with Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, will transfer to the Trafalgar Studios 1, opening on 16th August. It is a co-production with Out of Joint theatre company, presented by Sonia Friedman Productions.

The autumn season at the Rose Theatre in Kingston will include a repertoire of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, characterised by Wilde as 'a trivial comedy for serious people', about mistaken and assumed identities, from 22nd September, and the European premiere of Harley Granville Barker's Farewell To The Theatre, in which a famous actress, who has decided to retire, remembers the missed opportunities of the past, and contemplates the realities of the future, from 30th September, with a company including Jane Asher, Kirsty Besterman, Bruce Mackinnon and Jenny Rainsford, both plays directed by Stephen Unwin.

The premiere of Oscar Wilde's Constance, in which an incident at a social gathering sets in motion a train of events that risk upsetting the moral code of the guests, directed by Marc Urquhart, will open at the King's Head Theatre in Islington on 16th September. The play was previously unproduced because Wilde sold 'exclusive rights' to a number of theatrical agents, publishers, actors and managers, and his original manuscript was destroyed - this is an English translation by Charles Osborne of a French version. The producers are Adam Spreadbury-Maher and Dominic Haddock for Good Night Out Presents.

The autumn season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include, in the Courtyard Theatre: a musical adaptation of L P Hartley's The Go Between, book by David Wood, music by Richard Taylor, lyrics by David Wood and Richard Taylor, in which a young boy comes of age as he is unwittingly enlisted as a messenger in an adult affair of deceit and desire, at the turn of the 20th century, directed by Roger Haines, opening on 14th September; and Jack And The Beanstalk, by Mike Kenny, directed by Gail McIntyre, opening on 10th December; and in the Quarry Theatre: Shakespeare's King Lear, with Tim Pigott-Smith, directed by Ian Brown, opening on 28th September; and the musical Annie, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, based on the 1930s Little Orphan Annie comic strip, directed by Nikolai Foster, with choreography by Nick Winston, opening on 25th November.

The Rumour Machine says: that Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show, a celebration of the songs of Neil Diamond, featuring Brian Conley and Darren Day, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, which toured recently, is looking for a West End home in the late autumn; and that the Chichester Festival Theatre production of the Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Nacio Herb Brown-Arthur Freed musical Singin' In The Rain, with Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen, directed by Jonathan Church, with choreography by Andrew Wright, may be remounted in the West End early next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.