News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th November 2012

The Society Of London Theatre's 12th Get Into London Theatre initiative, designed to encourage new and young theatregoers to experience the wealth of theatrical fare to be found all over London, will run from for selected performances 1st January to 15th February. Booking will open on 11th December for over 40 shows, including opera, ballet, dance and pantomime, encompassing West End, fringe and suburban theatres at prices from 10 to 35 (according to the venue). In addition, there are accompanying events, including backstage tours, workshops and classes.

Forthcoming productions at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, will include the premiere of the musical Tailor-Made Man, book by Claudio Macor and Amy Rosenthal, music by Duncan Walsh Atkins and Adam Meggido, lyrics by Adam Meggido, the tale of silent film star William Haines and his stand against MGM film producer Louis B Mayer, which eventually got him fired, with Faye Tozer and Dylan Turner, directed by Claudio Macor, with choreography by Nathan M Wright, opening on 21st February, produced by Stephen McGill.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company will open a national tour of The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged), created by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, at the Theatre Royal York on 3rd April. It is co-produced by Newbury Productions and the Theatre Royal York.

New York TheatreNet: PiPE DREAM theatre will stage the premiere of The Nutcracker And The Mouse King, book and music by Collin Simon, lyrics and direction by Liz Muller, an original 'steam-punk' take on E T A Hoffmann's classic Christmas tale, with choreography by Diana Pettersen, opening at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row on 1st December. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Birdsong, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff, from Sebastian Faulks's novel about an illicit all consuming love affair set against the First World War, with Jonathan Smith and Sarah Jayne Dunn, directed by Alastair Whatley, will open a national tour at the Haymarket Theatre in Basingstoke on 25th January. The producers are Original Theatre Company and Birdsong Productions.

Nights Out - Life In Cosmopolitan London by Judith R Walkowitz, recently published by Yale University Press, is a social history of Soho in the first half of the 20th century. At the end of the Victorian era, the district of Soho, was one of the city's most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, marked by urban vices including crime, illicit sex and political intrigue. While the new wide streets of Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road were created so that the rich could avoid the lower classes, in the narrow streets and alleyways in between, the immigrant poor created business and entertainments that were frequented by the privileged. The book is organised in a loosely chronological sequence, each chapter selecting a representative example that enables Walkowitz to map the varied cultural experiences on offer in Soho: theatre, dance, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. She draws on a vast and unusual range of sources to stitch together a rich patchwork quilt of vivid stories and unforgettable characters, revealing how Soho became a showcase for a new cosmopolitan identity.

The Canterbury Tales, adapted by Tom Daplyn and Tacit Theatre from the original stories by Geoffrey Chaucer, with Rosalind Blessed, John Canmore, Tim Gutteridge, Joel Mellinger, Ellie Moore, Harry Napier and Matt Salisbury, directed by Anthony Sebastian, will play at the Southwark Playhouse, at London Bridge, from 17th December.

The 50th anniversary production of West Side Story, the musical relocating the story of Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet to Hell's Kitchen in 1950s New York, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins, directed by Joey McKneely, will return to Sadler's Wells Theatre from 7th August next year; and ZooNation's Some Like It Hip Hop, conceived, directed and choreographed by Kate Prince, music and lyrics by DJ Walde, Josh Cohen and Kate Prince, inspired by Billy Wilder's film Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, with choreography by Tommy Franzen, Ryan Chappell and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, will return to the Peacock Theatre from 3rd May.

Hambledon Productions will stage Hancock's Half Hour - The Lost Episodes, adapted by John Hewer, from Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's radio script A Winter's Tale and television script The Italian Maid, directed by Jonathan Rigby, at the White Bear Theatre, in Kennington, from 28th December.

Georg Solti And The Royal Opera is an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the conductor, with an overview of his contribution to the history and development at the Royal Opera House, running until 22nd February. The exhibition includes props and costumes, set and costume designs, photographs and posters, of productions he conducted, plus scores and personal items belonging to Solti, film footage of him discussing his work, and the striking portrait of him painted by Maggi Hambling.

The musical Gay's The Word, book and music by Ivor Novello, lyrics by Alan Melville, book adapted by Richard Sterling, in which a bankrupt stage star opens a drama school as a way of restoring her fortunes, with Sophie-Louise Dann, Helena Blackman, Josh Little, Frank Barrie, Doreen Hermitage, Eileen Page, Myra Sands and Elizabeth Seal, directed and choreographed by Stewart Nicholls, will play at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, from 7th February. The producer is Evergreen Theatrical Productions.