News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th June 1998

Sam Mendes has pulled off another casting coup for a change to his repertoire at the Donmar Warehouse. Nicole Kidman is to make her British stage debut, joining Iain Glenn in The Blue Room, David Hare's contemporary adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde on 23rd September. The play is a series of lovers encounters with two actors playing the relay of partners. Originally pencilled for next year, it has been brought forward to fill the slot of the postponed production of Juno And The Paycock, even though negotiations with the Schnitzler estate have yet to be completed. Booking will not open for another month.

A reminder that the Closer web site - see the link to the right of this paragraph - will be hosting an exclusive on-line discussion with writer Patrick Marber on Thursday 25th June at 8.00pmBST. Anyone can talk to him direct from their web browser, with no extra plug-ins or software needed (although a frames compatible browser is required). It will be your chance to discuss London's currently most successful play with its author.

Alan Howard, Frances De La Tour, Zoe Waites and Rupert Penry-Jones head the cast of the previously mentioned Almeida Theatre production of Edward Albee's new work The Play About The Baby - another exercise in US East Coast angst. Directed by Howard Davis, it opens at the Malvern Theatre, before moving to Islington, where it launches the autumn season on 27th August.

Alarms & Excursions is a new comedy by Michael Frayn, made up of eight short pieces, to be directed by long time collaborator Michael Blakemore. With a cast of Felicity Kendal, Nicky Henson, Josie Lawrence and Robert Bathurst, producer Michael Codron is looking for a West End theatre to open on 14th September.

A new musical version of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost by Charles Miller and Peter Quilter, which is currently touring with Ron Moody in the title role, is also looking for a West End transfer in the autumn. Charles Stephens and Darren Ockert are the presenters of the Northcott Theatre Exeter production.

Recently knighted playwright David Hare makes his West End performing debut in his a new one person piece Via Dolorosa, directed by Stephen Daldry, at the Royal Court at the Duke Of York's on 8th September for a four week run. This will be followed by the return of Connor McPherson's The Weir. The Royal Court is fast becoming the third Irish National Theatre.

Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre Company will return to its home at the Royal Exchange in the autumn, after a 30m refurbishment which will provide a new 120 seat studio theatre. It reopens with a revival of Hindle Wakes the production which was in mid run when the company was forced to leave by bomb damage. The first season will include Tom Courtney as King Lear and Richard Wilson in Waiting For Godot, plus thirteen premieres.

The Rumour Machine says: that following her success in Hey, Mr Producer! Cameron Mackintosh may present Broadway star Bernadette Peters in concert in early autumn; that the deal has been done for The Lion King to open at the Lyceum Theatre in June next year, continuing the Disney/Apollo Leisure partnership of Beauty And The Beast; and that the revival of Annie with Lesley Joseph (at last playing to type) as Miss Hannigan will open at the Victoria Palace in September. The Rumour Machine grinds on.