News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th November 2011

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company Chicago production of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, about American middle class neighbours riding out the economic downturn in suburbia, directed by Austin Pendleton, will play at the National Theatre in May with a new British cast.

The Theatre Royal Bath's summer season will comprise Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School For Scandal, the comedy exploiting the rumour, conspiracy and fraudsters of 18th century life, directed by Jamie Lloyd, opening on 10th July; Hysteria, which imagines an encounter between Salvador Dali and Sigmund Freud, written and directed by Terry Johnson, with Antony Sher, opening on 2nd August; and Shakespeare's The Tempest, directed by Adrian Noble, opening on 28th August. The spring season in the Ustinov Studio featuring British premieres of American plays, will comprise Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter, about two college friends on a trip to Amsterdam, directed by Richard Beecham, opening on 2nd March; Howard Korder's In A Garden, in which an American architect commissioned to build a summerhouse in a Middle East country finds the brief constantly changes, also directed by Richard Beecham, opening on 2nd April; and Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), exploring Victorian ignorance of female sexual desire, directed by Laurence Boswell, opening on 16th May.

The veteran American comedian Jackie Mason will play a 5 week season at Wyndham's Theatre from 13th February with his latest show Fearless!, in what he claims will be his last appearance on the London stage.

Arts Council England and the BBC are launching an online arts channel that will broadcast new work, documentaries and filmed performances created by cultural organisations across the country. ACE is investing 2.5m in funding to help arts groups, including theatre companies, create work for the venture, which will launch in May next year and run experimentally until October. Submissions are currently being sought for filmed versions of theatrical performances, documentaries about the creative process, and new work made to specifically to exploit the medium. ACE expects to make around 50 commissions. Further information can be found on the ACE web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

New York TheatreNet: The National Theatre production of Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, which relocates Carlo Goldini's The Servant Of Two Masters to 1960s Brighton, with James Corden, directed by Nicholas Hytner, will transfer to Broadway, opening at the Music Box Theatre on 18th April. The producers are Bob Boyett and the National Theatre. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Laurence Mark Wythe's The Lost Christmas, in which robots from the future return to today to stop Santa Claus from cancelling Christmas forever, directed by John Brant, will open at the Waterloo East Theatre, under Waterloo Station, on 6th December. The producers are Stephen McGill and Ffion Jones for Poppy Productions.

On The Casting Couch: Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde will be joined by Emma Fielding, Joss Ackland and Ian McNeice in David Seidler's The King's Speech, opening a prospective pre West End tour at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 1st February

Bonhams is holding a sale of entertainment memorabilia at its Knightsbridge saleroom in Montpelier Street SW7, from 1pm on 15th December, with viewing from 11th December onwards. The 379 lots in the sale include including programmes, posters, magazines, scripts, letters, animation cells, photographs, silver and gold records and autographs, plus items including Michael Caine's trench coat from 'Get Carter'; an Indiana Jones bullwhip from 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'; original 1960s bunny costumes from The Playboy Club, London; Patrick McGoohan's suit and overcoat from 'The Prisoner'; Spitting Image puppets; costumes worn by David Tennant and Matt Smith as 'Doctor Who'; and guitars owned by John Entwistle and Eric Clapton. Further information can be found on the Bonhams web site via the link from The Emporium in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forkbeard Fantasy, whose hallmark is the use of visual trickery and the blending theatre and film, are playing a farewell tour with their previous production The Colour Of Nonsense, about an old artists' union who are challenged by young turks, which will include the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre from 19th to 30th December. It will be accompanied by an interactive exhibition Theatre Of Animation in the Royal Festival Hall, featuring materials from the company's productions, including life-size creatures, puppets, automata, films and cartoons, from 2nd December to 8th January.

A 1 hour site specific production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale will be staged at the Camley Street Natural Park nature reserve in King's Cross, with Anna Koval and Bradley Taylor, directed by Suba Das, from 5th December. The producer is Custom/Practice in association with the Old Vic Tunnels.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Chichester Festival Theatre double bill of Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version, about a cowed schoolmaster who finds the courage to make a stand against his bullying headmaster and his unfaithful wife, directed by Angus Jackson, and David Hare's new play written in response to it, South Downs, directed by Jeremy Herrin, with Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell, will transfer to the West End next year; that the West Yorkshire Playhouse/Northampton Theatres production of a musical adaptation of L P Hartley's The Go Between, by David Wood and Richard Taylor, in which a young boy comes of age as he is unwittingly enlisted as a messenger in an adult affair of deceit and desire, at the turn of the 20th century, directed by Roger Haines, is looking for a West End home; and that a musical adaptation of the film Finding Neverland, about J M Barrie's inspiration for Alice In Winderland, book by Allan Knee from his original novel, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie, directed by Rob Ashford, is aiming for the West End late next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.