News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th July 2009

A new play by Roy Smiles, Kurt & Sid, which imagines a meeting between Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, and his hero, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, with Danny Dyer and Shaun Evans, directed by Tim Stark, will open at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 14th September. The producers are Andrew Jenkins and Thomas Hopkins.

The autumn season at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond will include Wynyard Browne's The Ring Of Truth, in which the loss of an engagement ring presages a series of escalating personal and professional crises, directed by Auriol Smith, from 3rd September; Susan Glaspell's Alison's House, where the disposal of a poet's effects brings a family crisis, inspired by the life and work of Emily Dickinson, from 7th October; Nigel Dennis's The Making Of Moo, about an engineer who has built a dam in third world country bringing electricity, but is accused of killing the river god, directed by Sam Walters, from 11th November; and the musical The Lady Or The Tiger, book by Michael Richmond and Jeremy Paul, music by Nola York, lyrics by Michael Richmond, from a story by Frank Stockton, in which the King of a semi-barbaric kingdom finds an attraction for his a new arena, but it causes heart ache for his princess, from 16th December.

Brits Abroad: The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego California has announced that Adrian Noble, the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, has been appointed artistic director for its 2010 Shakespeare Festival season, running from June to September, celebrating the theatre's 75th anniversary. Noble will with immediate effect begin planning the Festival with the executive producer Louis G Spisto, and will direct two of its three productions. The Old Globe comprises three theatres, with the Shakespeare Festival productions presented on its outdoor stage in Balboa Park.

Scottish Opera's 2009/2010 season, which opens at Eastwood Park Theatre in Glasgow on 10th September, will include new productions of Rossini's The Italian Girl In Algiers, directed by Colin McColl, a co-production with New Zealand Opera; and Janacek's The Adventures Of Mr Broucek, directed by John Fulljames, a co-production with Opera North; plus revivals of Giles Havergal's production of Donizetti's The Elixir Of Love; and Stewart Laing's production of Puccini's La Boheme. Small scale work will include a tour of Janacek's Katya Kabanova, directed by Kally Lloyd-Jones; a further series of Five:15, newly commissioned 15 minute operas by new Scottish writing partnerships; and a reduced version of Prokofiev's War And Peace, in partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

On The Casting Couch at the Almeida Theatre: Suzanne Burden, Alan David, Laura Donnelly, Ben Fox, Tom Georgeson, Daniel Hawksford, Jack James, Joseph Millson, Jake Nightingale, Julie Riley, Andy Williams, Sarah Woodward, Lewis Lempereur-Palmer and Thomas Patten comprise the cast of Judgment Day, opening on 10th September; and Clare Higgins, Nicola Walker and Kate Ashfield will feature in Mrs Klein, opening on 29th October.

The Sheridan Morley Theatre Collection, comprising over 4,000 books on theatre, film and performance, hundreds of personal letters, and other theatre artefacts of the late critic, author and broadcaster, is now available for study by students, academics and members of the public at Kingston University in Surrey. It includes correspondence with many theatrical legends, such as John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Noel Coward and Alec Guinness. The collection was donated by Morley's widow, the author, broadcaster and fellow critic Ruth Leon, in order that it should be kept together, and be widely accessible.

Rain Man, adapted for the stage by Dan Gordon, from the 1989 film, about a self-centred yuppie car dealer who discovers that he has an autistic-savant brother hidden in an institution, with Oliver Chris and Neil Morrissey, directed by Robin Herford, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Bath on 26th August. The producers are Nica Burns, Jane Walmsley, Michael Braham, Max Weitzenhoffer and Kenny Wax in association with MGM on Stage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.

The Carl Rosa Opera Company will perform its production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen Of The Guard, with Paul Nicholas, Gareth Jones, Charlotte Page and Bruce Graham, directed by Michael McCaffrey, at the Tower of London, from 13th to 15th September. A national tour of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates Of Penzance, directed by Peter Molloy, will open at Richmond Theatre on 15th September.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's 2009/2010 season, which opens at Birmingham Hippodrome on 23rd September, will include Quantum Leaps, comprising Stanton Welch's Powder, danced to Mozart's clarinet concerto, David Bintley's new ballet E=mc˛, set to music by Matthew Hindson, and The Centre And Its Opposite, a new work by Garry Stewart set to an electronic soundscape; David Bintley's Cyrano, based on Edmond Rostand's classic romance; Peter Wright's productions of The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty; 20 Years Celebration, featuring excerpts from the company's repertory over two decades since its inception; On Their Toes!, a triple bill comprising Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, from the musical On Your Toes, Grosse Fuge, a dramatic and sensual ballet by Hans van Manen, and Theme And Variations, set to Tchaikovsky's music; and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake.

The Rumour Machine says: that Nicholas Wright is adapting Caroline Blackwood's book The Last Duchess, which alleges that lawyer Maitre Suzanne Blum kept the Duchess of Windsor prisoner in her home in Paris during the last years of her life, which Richard Eyre will direct, possibly starring Maggie Smith, with Robert Fox producing late next year; and that among producer Sonia Friedman's future plans are a stage adaptation of the 1998 film Shakespeare In Love (screenplay co-written by Tom Stoppard) and a production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts with Kim Cattrall. The Rumour Machine grinds on.