News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th August 2012

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has announced that it will revert to a 4 play repertoire next year, running from 15th May to 7th September. Productions will include the courtroom drama To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel from Harper Lee's novel about prejudice in a small southern town during the American great depression of the 1930s; and the musical The Sound Of Music, music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, based on the book The Von Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp, about her experiences as a novice nun falling in love with a widowed naval captain and his children in 1930s Austria, both directed by Timothy Sheader.

The autumn season at the Charing Cross Theatre, in The Arches under Charing Cross Station, will include Alan Hruska's The Man On Her Mind, an exploration of 'boy meets girl', with Amy McAllister, Samuel James, Georgia MacKenzie and Shane Attwooll, directed by Bruce Guthrie, opening on 5th September; Puccini's La Boheme, in a version by and directed by Robin Norton-Hale, opening on 30th October, produced by Dominic Haddock and Adam Spreadbury-Maher for OperaUpClose; and the musical Dear World: A Musical Fable, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee, revised by David Thompson, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, adapted from Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot, in which a woman battles to stop a oil company drilling in the Chaillot district of Paris, in 1945, with Betty Buckley, directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, opening on 4th February.

The Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has commissioned Tony Hall, chair of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board, and Ruth Mackenzie, director of the London Festival 2012, to write a report looking into creating a major London arts festival to be held every two years. It will examine the feasibility of a London Biennale, specifically how much it would cost and how it should be delivered.

Ronald Harwood's The Handyman, in which the peace of a Sussex family home is shattered when War Crimes detective arrive to interview its ageing Ukrainian odd-job man, with Timothy West, Caroline Langrishe, Adrian Lukis, Carolyn Backhouse, James Simmons and Anthony Houghton, plus Vanessa Redgrave on video, directed by Joe Harmston, will open a regional tour at the Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold on 12th September. It is an Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford production.

New York TheatreNet: Clifford Odets's Golden Boy, about a young, gifted violinist who is torn between pursuing a career in music and earning big money as a prize fighter, with Tony Shalhoub, Danny Burstein, Jonathan Hadary, Daniel Jenkins and Seth Numrich, directed by Bartlett Sher, will open at the Belasco Theatre on 6th December, produced by Lincoln Center Theater. A revised stage adaptation of the 1957 Rodgers and Hammerstein television musical Cinderella, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, featuring Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Harriet Harris, Victoria Clark, Peter Bartlett, Ann Harada, Marla Mindelle and Greg Hildreth, directed by Mark Brokaw, with choreography by Josh Rhodes, will preview from 21st January at the Broadway Theatre. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

On The Casting Couch: Ann-Marie Duff will be joined by Stephen Campbell Moore, Dominic Rowan, Nigel Cooke, Kurt Egyiawan, Derek Howard and Rosie Jones in Jean Racine's Berenice, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 2nd October; and Will Young and Michelle Ryan will be joined by Sian Phillips, Matt Rawle, Linal Haft and Nicholas Tizzard in the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical Cabaret, opening at the Savoy Theatre on 9th October.

Last year's Watermill Theatre Newbury production of the musical Radio Times, book by Abi Grant, songs by Noel Gay, set during the broadcast of a Second World War radio programme, with a cast of actor-musicians headed by Gary Wilmot and Sarah Crowe, directed by Caroline Leslie, with choreography by Alistair David, will open a prospective pre West End tour at Malvern Theatres on 10th September. The producers are Alex Armitage, Eleanor Lloyd and Lee Menzes.

The autumn season at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton will include Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, set around a theatre production of of George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer mounted by a convict settlement in Australia in the 1780s, with Damola Adelaja, Helen Bradbury, Laura Dos Santos, John Hollingworth, Lisa Kerr, Matthew Needham, Kathryn O'Reilly, Ciaran Owens, Ian Redford and Dominic Thorburn, directed by Max Stafford Clark, opening a national tour on 3rd September, a co-production with Out Of Joint and Karl Sydow; Bill Naughton's Lighthearted Intercourse, a portrait of a young couple living in 1920s Bolton, adjusting to married life and discussing their fears, anxieties and conflicting needs, directed by David Thacker, from 4th October; and J M Barrie's Peter Pan, directed by Elizabeth Newman, from 16th November.

Complicite's production of The Master And Margarita, adapted from the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, which moves between the fervently atheistic Moscow of the 1930s and Jerusalem during the last days of Jesus's life, combining performance, video, puppetry and music, directed by Simon McBurney, will return to the Barbican Theatre, opening on 18th December.

Applications are now being considered for Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre's Apprentice Scheme For New Producers. The scheme is an opportunity for new producers wanting to learn more about theatre production to get 6 to 12 months paid training in a West End production office. Applicants must have at least one year's practical experience in theatre administration or production, and be committed to a career in commercial theatre production. The award is up to 18,600 per annum to cover expenses. The closing date is 31st August. Further information and an application form can be found on the Stage One web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Tom Kempinski's Duet For One, about a concert violinist who is forced to rethink her career and her life after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, with Haydn Gwynne and William Gaunt, directed by Robin Herford, will open a national tour at Cambridge Arts Theatre on 19th September. The producer is Calibre Productions.