News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th June 2010

British productions and performers were the biggest winners in this year's New York Tony Awards, with the Donmar Warehouse production of Red taking 6 (the most for any show): Play, Eddie Redmayne - Actor Play (Featured), Michael Grandage - Director (Play), Christopher Oram - Scenic Design (Play), Neil Austin - Lighting Design (Play) and Adam Cork Sound Design (Play); and the Menier Chocolate Factory productions of La Cage Aux Folles taking Musical Revival, Douglas Hodge - Actor Musical (Leading) and Terry Johnson - Director (Musical), and A Little Night Music taking Catherine Zeta-Jones - Actress Musical (Leading); while Alan Ayckbourn received a Lifetime Achievement award. The full list of winners can be found on the Tony Awards web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury will include the musical Copacabana, music and book by Barry Manilow, book and lyrics by Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, developed from the song, with Edward Baker Duly, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Basienka Blake, Adam C Booth, Robin Colyer, Julian Littman, Karen Mann, Neil MacDonald, Cassie Pearson, Sally Peerless, Antony Reed and Joe West, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, opening on 21st July; the return of the musical Spend Spend Spend, book and lyrics by Steve Brown and Justin Greene, music by Steve Brown, from the book by Viv Nicholson and Stephen Smith, telling the rags to riches to rags again story of Viv Nicholson, who, when she became the biggest pools winner ever known in 1962, coined the title phrase, and blew the money in a couple of years, also directed and choreographed by Revel Horwood, opening a national tour on 9th September; Alan Bennett's Single Spies, a comedy double bill comprising An Englishman Abroad, based on an actual meeting of the actress Coral Browne and the spy Guy Burgess in his flat in Moscow, and A Question Of Attribution, in which the spy Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, finds himself the subject of an investigation by The Queen, directed by Jamie Glover, from 30th September; and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the iconic 18th century adventure story of swashbuckling pirates and the search for buried treasure in the Caribbean, adapted by Toby Hulse, directed by Robin Belfield, from 25th November.

The Performance Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum have added masks and costumes from the musical The Lion King to its existing display. It is the first time these materials from the show have been exhibited anywhere in the Britain. The display also includes a video, featuring highlights from the show and an interview with the director and designer Julie Taymor.

On The Casting Couch: Charlie Cox and Ian McDiarmid will be joined by Siobhan Redmond, David Burke, Sonya Cassidy, Simon Coates, Jolyon Coy, Harry Hadden-Paton, William Hoyland, Mark Theodore, Julian Wadham and Lizzie Winkler in Heinrich von Kleist's The Prince Of Homburg, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 27th July; Simon Russell Beale and Jonathan Groff will be joined by Estelle Parsons, Claire Skinner and Terry Beaver in Ira Levin's Deathtrap, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 7th September; Ben Barnes will take the lead in Sebastain Faulks's Birdsong, opening at the Comedy Theatre on 28th September; Stephen Dillane will be joined by Gemma Arterton in Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 18th November; and Hannah Waddingham and Jenna Russell will be joined by Helen Dallimore, Marc Antolin, Valda Aviks, Billy Boyle, Gaye Brown, Sophie Caton, Alice Fearn, Mark Goldthorp, Amy Griffiths, Mark Hadfield, Amy Ellen Richardson, Ben Stott, Gemma Wardle and Michael Xavier, with Judi Dench as the voice of the Giant in the James Lapine-Stephen Sondheim musical Into The Woods, opening at the Open Air Theatre on 11th August.

In The Night Garden Live will present two alternative children's shows in a specially constructed dome, located in Sefton Park, Liverpool, from 17th July to 1st August, and touring to the Meridian Gardens at The O2, Greenwich, from 14th to 30th August, Glasgow Green, from 11th to 26th September, and Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, from 9th to 24th October.

Buxton Festival, centred on the spectacular Opera House designed by Frank Matcham, running from 7th to 25th July, will include new festival productions of Verdi's Luisa Miller, directed by Stephen Medcalf; Peter Cornelius's rarely performed The Barber Of Baghdad, directed by Alessandro Talevi; and concert performances of Mozart's Idomeneo, arranged by Richard Strauss; plus the Classical Opera Company production of Mozart's Zaide, directed by Melly Still; the Aldeburgh Music/London Sinfonietta/Opera Group production of George Benjamin's Into The Little Hill, text by Martin Crimp, loosely based on the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin; the Opera Theatre Company Dublin's production of Handel's Alcina, directed by Annilese Miskimmon; and the Psaphha double bill of Leonard Bernstein's Trouble In Tahiti and Arias And Barcarolles, directed by Elaine Tyler-Hall; plus a community production of Richard Rodney Bennett's children's opera All The King's Men, directed by Michael Barry. Further information can be found on the Buxton Festival web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Cabaret is to return to London at two new venues. Wilton's Music Hall in Wapping will launch Live At Wilton's on 1st July, with a gala featuring Sian Phillips, Hannah Waddingham, David McAlmont and Gywneth Herbert. The Pheasantry, the historic Georgian building in the King's Road in Chelsea, now a restaurant, will launch Live At The Pheasantry on 26th June with an appearance by Jessie Buckley.

Garden Opera, which performs in English, outdoors in historic settings across the country, has just opened its 2010 production of Verdi's La Traviata, directed by Saffron van Zwanenberg. The season runs until 2nd October, playing at locations including Chiswick House, Fitzroy Square and Regents Park in London. Further information can be found on the GO web site via the link from Opera & Dance in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Cynthia Nixon may make her West End debut in Douglas Carter Beane's comedy As Bees In Honey Drown, about a con artist who takes advantage of the nearly famous, having appeared in the New York premiere production in 1997; and that diminutive actor Leslie Jordan, may bring his autobiographical one man show My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, currently playing Off Broadway, to London early next year.