News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th September 2010

Once again there is an extravagance of premieres in the 32nd Dance Umbrella, running from 5th to 30th October, presenting the best of national and international contemporary dance, with 24 artists and companies performing at venues across London. Highlights include: Stephen Petronio Company with I Drink The Air Before Me, referencing the awesome and unpredictable forces of nature in a visual spectacle bringing together fashion, music and dance; Merce Cunningham Dance Company with Nearly Ninety, the legendary choreographer's final work; Candoco Dance Company with Renditions, a mix of extreme physicality and intense performance in a contrasting triple bill of new works; Trisha Brown Dance Company with a retrospective of Brown's work entitled Celebrating Trisha Brown; and Discombobulator, a 4 way dance, music and video collaboration between Ben Duke, Will Duke, Dario Palermo and Zoe Svendsen exploring virtual reality with real-time live interaction between dance, sound and computer-generated imagery. Full details of programmes and venues can be found on the Dance Umbrella web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Ghost The Musical, adapted from the 1990 film about a man trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer, book by Bruce Joel Rubin from his screenplay, music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, with Sharon D Clarke, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Ashley Wallen, will transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre, opening on 19th July, following a season at the Opera House in Manchester from 28th March.

As the picnic hampers and travel rugs are packed away for another year, Glyndebourne Touring Opera takes to the road until December, following a launch mini season of performances on its home turf from 9th to 30th October. The repertoire comprises: this season's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, directed by Jonathan Kent; Robert Carsen's 2008 production of Monteverdi's The Coronation Of Poppea; and Peter Hall's 2005 production of Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Comedian Bill Bailey will bring his latest show Dandelion Mind to the West End, playing a short season at Wyndham's Theatre from 2nd November. The producer is Phil McIntyre.

Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre are inviting further applications for a New Producer's Bursary. The bursaries are intended to support individuals in progressing their careers as theatre producers. Successful applicants will be able to use the bursary to develop and/or present a new production, or to support themselves while being an intern at an approved producer's office. In addition to a broad package of financial assistance of up to 15,000 per applicant, the scheme also provides the benefit of an established industry figure as a mentor for the project, and possibly shared office accommodation in Central London. The closing date for this round of applications is 18th October. 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.

On The Casting Couch: Gemma Arterton and Stephen Dillane will be joined by Jack Shepherd, John Light, Anastasia Hille, Patrick Godfrey and Emma Hamilton in Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 18th November.

National Theatre Wales has announced details of its autumn season, which will comprise: Gary Owen's Love Steals Us From Loneliness, following a group of Bridgend teenagers as they negotiate adolescence, with a cast including Nia Roberts, directed by John McGrath, at Hobo's Rock Club and Live Music Venue in Bridgend, from 7th October, a co-production with Sherman Cymru; The Dark Philosophers, adapted by Carl Hunter and Told by an Idiot from the short stories of Gwyn Thomas, directed by Paul Hunter, at The Riverfront Theatre in Newport from 11th November; and The Weather Factory, a site-specific event seeking to recreate the four seasons, based on local stories about the weather and the unique geography of Wales, directed and designed by David Harradine, in a 3 storey house in Penygroes, north Wales, from 7th December.

New York TheatreNet: A new musical Wonderland: A New Alice, book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy, directed by Gregory Boyd, with choreography by Marguerite Derricks, will open on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre on April 17th. It is a contemporary story about a woman who has lost her joy in life, is estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, who finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The autumn season at the Theatre Royal Bristol will include: Moliere's The Misanthrope, translated by Tony Harrison, in which a man, drowning in a social whirl of flattery, which he despises, seeks to secure the affections of the spoiled and feckless love of his life, directed by Andrew Hilton, opening on 5th October, a co-production with The Tobacco Factory; and Swallows And Amazons, a play by Helen Edmunson, with music by Neil Hannon, adapted from the book by Arthur Ransome, about children on a sailing holiday in the Lake District in 1929, directed by Tom Morris, from 1st December.

The Society Of London Theatre is looking for 10 enthusiastic and knowledgeable theatregoers to join one of the judging panels for next year's Laurence Olivier Awards. Panellists will receive a pair of free tickets for all shows playing in the West End between 1st January and 31st December. There are four panels assessing Theatre, Opera, Dance and Affiliates (covering work at theatres beyond the West End). The Theatre panel is expected to attend about 60 play performances or 20 musicals, Opera and Affiliates about 20 each, and Dance about 40. Applications can be made online on the SOLT web site, which can be found via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet. Alternatively, there are leaflets in all West End theatres. The deadline for applications is 26th November.