News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th October 2009

The Bridge Project has announced that the company of British and American actors for its second season productions of Shakespeare's As You Like It and The Tempest, directed by Sam Mendes, will comprise Stephen Dillane, Christian Camargo, Juliet Rylance, Ron Cephas Jones, Thomas Sadoski, Michelle Beck, Edward Bennett, Ashlie Atkinson, Jenni Barber, Alvin Epstein, Jonathan Fried, Aaron Krohn, Anthony O'Donnell, Richard Hansell, Michael Thomas and Ross Waiton. The productions will open at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in January and transfer to the Old Vic from 12th June.

Forthcoming productions at the Jermyn Street Theatre will include Jest End, devised by Garry Antony Lake, the British equivalent of Forbidden Broadway, spoofing current West End show songs, with Amy Coombes, Jodie Jacobs, Stuart Matthew Price, Yvette Robinson, and Chris Thatcher, opening on 17th November.

The spring season at the Young Vic will include I Am Yusuf And This Is My Brother, written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, a poetic exploration of history, memory and different forms of love, set in Palestine in 1948, opening on 21st January, a co-production with Palestinian company Shiber-Hur; Arthur Schnitzler's Sweet Nothings, in a new version by David Harrower, a tale of sexual longing, the cruelty of tradition, and the vulnerability of those in love, directed by Luc Bondy, opening on 4th March, a co-production with the Vienna Festival; and the opera Elegy For Young Lovers, music by Hans Werner Henze, libretto by W H Auden and Chester Kallman, the story of a poet who devours those around him in order to nourish his art and ego, directed by Fiona Shaw, opening on 24th April, a co-production with English National Opera.

The autumn season at Salisbury Playhouse will include Joseph Kesselring's Arsenic And Old Lace, the classic American black comedy, telling the tale of two little old ladies who poison 'sad and lonely old men' as a act of charity, and bury them in the basement of their Victorian home in Brooklyn, with David Adegboyega, Roger Alborough, Jaimi Barbakoff, Marji Campi, James Clarkson, Stuart Fox, Colm, David Leonard Gormley, Damien Matthews, Gwyneth Powell, Christopher Ryan and Steven Serlin, directed by Philip Wilson, from 29th October; Cinderella, by Mark Clements, with Tom Anderson, Jamie Bradley, Alexander Giles, Anthony Houghton, Sam Marks, Kate Marlais, Alison Pargeter and Owain Williams, directed by Caroline Leslie, with choreography by Lee Crowley, opening on 3rd December; and Noel Coward's Private Lives, in which a divorced couple who, finding themselves honeymooning with new partners in adjoining suites in the south of France, also find that their relationship is actually not over, directed by Philip Wilson, from 21st January; plus, in the Studio, The Way You Look Tonight, a celebration of the writing of Jerome Kern, compiled by Stuart Hutchinson, with Jacqueline Boatswain, Andrew Halliday and Hannah Robertson, narrated by Kit Hesketh Harvey, directed by Simon Green, with choreography by Alexandra Worrall, from 10th December.

Graham Greene's Our Man In Havana, about the misadventures of a vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba, who is recruited into the British Secret service, and makes up information for his handlers, in a new adaptation by Clive Francis, with Simon Shepherd, Philip Franks, Norman Pace and Beth Cordingly, directed by Richard Baron, will open a regional tour at the Theatre Royal in Brighton on 2nd November.

On The Casting Couch: Nigel Harman, Robert Daws and Steven Webb will feature in Public Property, opening at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 13th November

The Royal Theatre in Northampton is staging an American season comprising Eugene O'Neil's Beyond The Horizon, a story of youthful dreams crashing into reality, and the human spirit being tested almost beyond endurance, and the European premiere of Tennessee Williams's Spring Storm, in which a young woman's choice between two men, one wild and the other safe, has consequences for her debt ridden family, currently playing in repertoire; plus the musical Honk!, the musical adaptation of Hans Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, music by George Stiles, book and lyrics by Anthony Drew, from 30th November.

As part of its Masterclass programme for young people who have an interest in theatre, or are keen to pursue a career in the arts, the Theatre Royal Haymarket is staging TheatreCraft 2009, a day long careers event at the London Coliseum on 2nd December, with workshops, demonstrations, talks and displays to enable young people to find out about non-performing careers in theatre. Prior to this, the autumn Masterclass season will include talks by Philip Quast on 30th October and Roy Williams on 20th November. Sessions begin at 2.30pm and last around two hours. Events are open to people aged between 17 and 30 and mature students, and are free of charge - but there is a refundable deposit required confirming the booking. Those aged over 30 who would like to attend can now subscribe to a Friends scheme. Further information and online booking can be found on the Masterclass web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at Wilton's Music Hall in Aldgate will include Robin Soans's Mixed Up North, charting the difficulties of uniting divided racial communities using theatre in Burnley, with Celia Imrie, Judith Amsenga, Muzz Khan, Lisa Kerr, Asif Khan, Kashif Khan and Rosie Leslie, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, from 10th November, an Out Of Joint/Octagon Theatre, Bolton co-production; and A Sentimental Journey - The Story Of Doris Day, a biomusical by Adam Rolston, with Sally Hughes, directed by Alvin Rakoff, from 9th March.

Now that the season of performances has drawn to a close, Shakespeare's Globe moves indoors to its Education Centre, with a series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare's sonnets, comprising readings of the sonnets interspersed with period music by Peter Hamilton Dyer, Keith McGowan, Arngeir Hauksson and The Milton Consort on 10th November, and lectures on different aspects of the sonnets on 12th, 18th and 26th November; talks and lectures about Shakespeare and the theatre; and Read Not Dead, the programme of staged readings of rarely performed Elizabethan plays on Sunday afternoons, beginning with The Return From Parnassus or The Scourge Of Simony, about two down at heel scholars seeking bit parts with London theatre companies, on 6th December, preceded at 12noon by an introduction to its background by Maggy Williams and Diana Devlin.

The autumn season at Dundee Repertory Theatre includes Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, based on the life of John Merrick, rescued from a freak show to become a favourite of the aristocracy and literati, with Kevin Lennon, Robin Laing, Duncan Anderson, Robert Paterson, John Buick, Ann Louise Ross, Irene Macdougall, Emily Winter, and Angela Hardie, directed by Jemima Levick, opening on 21st October; and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, opening on 3rd December.