News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th June 2011

New York TheatreNet: Once again there was a strong showing of British talent in this year's New York Tony Awards, with War Horse taking 6, including Play, Director (Play) - Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris, and Special Award - Handspring Puppet Company; and Mark Rylance taking Actor Play (Leading) in Jerusalem. The biggest winner was The Book Of Mormon taking 9, including Musical, Book, Score, and Director (Musical) - Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker. Frances McDormand took Actress Play (Leading) in Good People; Sutton Foster took Actress Musical (Leading) in Anything Goes; and Norbert Leo Butz took Actor Musical (Leading) in Catch Me If You Can. The full list of winners can be found on the Tony Awards web site, via the link from Organisations section of New York TheatreNet, which also features news, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, via the link opposite below.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Broadway production of Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy, charting the relationship that develops when the son of a widowed 72 year old Jewish woman living in midcentury Atlanta, hires an African American man as her chauffeur, with Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines, directed by David Esbjornson, will transfer to Wyndham's Theatre from 27th September..

The autumn season at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, will include: A Dish Of Tea With Dr Johnson, adapted by Russell Barr, Ian Redford and Max Stafford Clark from James Boswell's Life Of Samuel Johnson and Journal Of A Tour To The Hebrides, featuring stories about and the opinions of the 18th century wit, essayist and lexicographer, with Russell Barr, Ian Redford and Trudie Styler, directed by Max Stafford Clark, opening on 13th September; Frank Marcus's The Killing Of Sister George, about the personal crisis of an actress when the character she plays in a long running radio programme is a killed off, with Meera Syal and Belinda Lang, directed by Iqbal Khan, opening on 6th October; and A British Subject, written by and featuring Nichola McAuliffe, based on the true events surrounding a British citizen who was found guilty of murder while visiting Pakistan, and spent 18 years on Death Row, directed by Hannah Eidinow, opening on 3rd November.

The dance show Midnight Tango, with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, joined by 10 international Tango dancers, choreographed by Simone and Cacace, directed by Karen Bruce, which is currently touring, will transfer to the Aldwych Theatre, opening on 20th January. The producers are Arlene Phillips and Adam Spiegel.

Triptic Theatre will stage the British premiere of the musical Bernarda Alba, book, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, adapted from Federico Garcia Lorca's The House Of Bernarda Alba, about sibling rivalry and a clandestine affair in a household of sexually repressed women, directed by Katherine Hare, with choreography by Racky Plews, opening at the Union Theatre in Southwark on 25th August.

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival will run from 11th July to 27th August, with outdoor performances of Elizabethan productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony And Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, The Comedy Of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, All's Well That Ends Well and Romeo And Juliet, in the grounds of Robinson, Trinity, Downing, King's, St John's and Girton Colleges.

The summer season at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn will include the Mosshouse production of Lay Me Down Softly, written and directed by Billy Roche, a darkly comic look at the world of a 1960s travelling carnival, with Gary Lydon, Michael O'Hagan, Simone Kirby, Pagan McGrath, Anthony Morris and Dermot Murphy, from 11th July; and the Lyric Theatre Belfast production of Owen McCafferty's The Absence Of Women, in which a pair of Belfast labourers facing the end of their lives in a London hostel discuss the present while contemplating the past, directed by Rachel O'Riordan, from 13th September.

Set-Exchange is a new web site set up by lighting designer and production electrician Peter Harrison to encourage theatres and production companies to share unwanted sets, costumes and props with other theatre organisations across Britain for free. It features a message board on which production managers can post information about their available items. Other member companies can then offer to take the items free of charge, although they must arrange for collection and transport from the original venue. The website states that users are free to post anything "as long as it is yours to give away, as long as it's legal and as long as it's free", but it warns that items designed specifically for the original show would be subject to the designer's copyright and may not be appropriate to give away. There is no cost to use the site and all users can benefit financially, as companies offering sets save their disposal costs and receiving companies save construction costs. Further information can be found on the Set-Exchange web site, via the link from Suppliers in the Links section of TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Justin Lee Collins, Shayne Ward, Amy Pemberton, Oliver Tompsett, Simon Lipkin, Rachel McFarlane, Jodie Jacobs and Rohan Tickell will head the cast of Rock Of Ages, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 27th September.

The Puppet Theatre Barge, currently moored at its winter home in Little Venice, is presenting afternoon performances of Red Riding Hood And The Wolf Who Tried To Eat Her, told with marionette and shadow puppets, at weekends during June and July, as well as schools workshops. The 50 seater theatre created on a canal barge, now in its 29th season, spends August and September on the River Thames, giving performances at Richmond, where it will present revivals of the traditional tale The Three Pigs And The Wolf and Brer Rabbit And The Tar Baby, plus a new production The Money Game, a contemporary marionette spectacular for adults. Further information can be found on the PTB web site via the link from London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.