News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th July 2010

The Old Vic Theatre has announced further productions in its 2010/2011 season.

Georges Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear, in the version by John Mortimer, in which a wife's trap designed to reveal her husband's infidelity results in mistaken identities, bruised egos and comic disaster, with Lisa Dillon and Tom Hollander, directed by Richard Eyre, will open on 14th December, a co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions; and Terence Rattigan's Cause Celebre, based on the true story of the trial of a woman and her young lover for the murder of her older husband, directed by Thea Sharrock, will open on 29th March. Wajdi Mouawad's Scorched, translated by Simon Scardifield, in which a twin brother and sister search for their previously unknown brother and father in the Middle East, directed by Patricia Benecke, will open at the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo station on 6th September, a co-production with Dialogue Productions. The theatre's 24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala, where a group of actors, playwrights and directors come together and form teams to write and rehearse six short plays, to be performed 24 hours later, will be staged on 21st November.

The all male Shakespeare company Propeller's 2010/2011 touring season will comprise Richard III, the final part of its War of the Roses cycle, and The Comedy Of Errors, opening on 28th January, plus Pocket Dream, a new one hour version of a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, aimed at young audiences, all directed by Edward Hall. The tour involves dates in America, including Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

New York TheatreNet: David Mamet's A Life In The Theatre, a two hander, tracing the relationship of a veteran actor and an aspiring newcomer who share a dressing room in a tatty regional theatre, with Patrick Stewart and T R Knight, directed by Neil Pepe, will open at the Schoenfeld Theatre on October 12th - Stewart played the same role in a London production in 2005; and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, the musical satirising the corporate world of the 1960s, through the relentless rise of a window cleaner, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Abe Burrows, Jack Wein, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, will open at the Hirschfeld Theatre on March 27th. 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 Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester will include: Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus, the classic story of a man who sells his soul to the Devil, directed by Toby Frow, opening on 13th September; Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From The Sea, in a version by David Eldridge, about a woman who tries to put her long lost first love behind her when she marries - but finds she can't, directed by Sarah Frankcom, opening on 18th October; Euripides's The Bacchae, in a new version by Mike Poulton, in which the god of wine and dance arrives in a society where the leader will do anything to preserve the status quo, directed by Braham Murray, with choreography by Mark Bruce, opening on 15th November; Harold Brighouse's Zack, a comedy about a family looking for a good marriage for their golden boy son, who find he is trumped by his unprepossessing brother, directed by Greg Hersov, opening on 13th December; and the premiere of Vivienne Franzmann's Mogadishu, in which an incident of violence by a pupil on a teacher is twisted so that the victim appears the perpetrator, directed by Matthew Dunster, opening on 31st January;

On The Casting Couch: Martin Freeman, Lucian Msamati, Sophie Thompson, Steffan Rhodri, Sam Spruell, Lorna Brown and Sarah Goldberg will feature in Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 2nd September; and Alison Steadman will be joined by Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, opening at the Apollo Theatre on 9th March.

Aya is to stage Robert David MacDonald's Summit Conference, which imagines a meeting of Hitler and Mussolini's mistresses, Eva Braun and Clara Petacci, with Laura Pradelska, Elisa Terren and Martin Behrman, directed by Ryan Kiggell, in a site-specific performance in the cellars of 33 Portland Place (an 18th century mansion), from 11th August.

Punch And Judy: A Short History With The Original Dialogue, published by Dover Publications, chronicles of the life, times, and travels of the world's most famous puppet couple. This survey by John Payne Collier examines Punch and Judy's moral and cultural significance, as well as the people who played them behind the curtain. Scholarly yet entertaining, it includes 30 illustrations by Victorian artist George Cruikshank, Charles Dickens's illustrator of choice. This is a reprint of the Rimington and Hooper, New York, 1929 edition.

The musical The Bells Are Ringing, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Jule Styne, in which a lonely girl who runs an answering service falls for a client she has met only by voice, with Anna-Jane Casey and Gary Milner, will play at Union Theatre in Southwark from 29th September. The producer is Jonathan Russell Productions.

The autumn season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include, in the Courtyard Theatre: Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall's Billy Liar, the seminal 1960's tale of the North Country Walter Mitty, who seeks refuge in make believe, with Emily Aston, Gillian Bevan, Paul-Ryan Carberry, Garry Cooper, Ann Firbank, David Hartley, Charlotte Mills and Rebecca Whitehead, directed by Nick Bagnall, opening on 8th September; the premiere of William Nicholson's Crash, a furious comedy examining the world financial crisis, directed by Sarah Esdaile, opening on 20th October; and Aladdin, by Mike Kenny, directed by Gail McIntyre, opening on 7th December; and in the Quarry Theatre: Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Ian Brown, opening on 21st September; and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, adapted by Bryony Lavery, directed by Nikolai Foster, opening on 27th November, a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Good Night Out will stage Steven Hevey's Pay As You Go, a tale of one a mobile phone retailer's desperate attempt to find renewed meaning in his life, with Richard Aloi, Marc Geoffrey, Daniel Jennings, Leona O'Sullivan, Adam Pettigrew and Helen Worsley, directed by Samuel Miller, opening at the Cock Tavern Theatre in Kilburn on 23rd July.