News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th October 2007

The Almeida Theatre in Islington will stage Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, with Kenneth Cranham, Neil Dudgeon, Danny Dyer, Jenny Jules, Nigel Lindsay and Anthony O'Donnell, directed by Michael Attenborough, opening on 7th February. The action takes place at a 'meet the in-laws' occasion with a typically Pinteresque family in north London, as the eldest son introduces his new wife to the all male household.

The award winning Edinburgh Fringe show The Table, devised and performed by Polish company Karbido Crew, (aka Pawel Czepulkowski, Igor Gawlikowski, Michal Litwiniec and Jacek Fedorowicz), will visit the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn from 5th to 14th November. The show is a 'furniture based' version of Stomp, in which a table is 'played' using sticks, bows and knives.

The winter season at the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton includes J B Priestley's recently discovered play The Glass Cage, in which the arrival of three strangers at the house of a respectable Toronto family reveals secrets that could threaten their existence, directed by Laurie Sansom, from 1st November; Peter Pan, with David Essex, Sophie Lawrence and Fogwell Flax, from 14th December; and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, from 22nd February.

The Bicycle Men, a 'silly musical with French overtones' book by Dave Lewman, Joe Liss, Mark Nutter and John Rubano, music and lyrics by Mark Nutter, featuring Dan Castellaneta, with Liss, Nutter and Rubano, will open at the King's Head Theatre in Islington, on 8th November. It tells the story of a hapless American tourist who crashes his bike and encounters the strange inhabitants of a sinister French village. The producer is Skullduggery.

Raymond Gubbay's 13th arena opera season at the Royal Albert Hall will feature the return of Puccini's Tosca, in a translation by Amanda Holden, directed by David Freeman, with design by David Rogers, from 28th February to 9th March. The title role will be shared by Paula Delligatti and Cynthia Lawrence.

The autumn season at Nottingham Playhouse includes Richard Kalinoski's Beast On The Moon, about a young immigrant couple trying to build the American dream in 1920s Milwaukee who can't escape the traumas of their pasts, directed by Giles Croft, from 2nd November; and Dick Whittington, written and directed by Kenneth Alan Taylor, with John Elkington and Jeffrey Longmore, from 30th November.

New York TheatreNet: The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors John Cullum, Harvey Fierstein, Dana Ivey and Lois Smith, director Jack O'Brien, playwright Peter Shaffer, and librettist Joseph Stein, with theatre critic Mel Gussow inducted posthumously. The 37th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 28th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

The 7 Fingers with DJ Pocket, French Canadians who are ex members of Cirque du Soleil, will perform their show Loft, a domestic world turned upside down, mixing trapeze, contortions, aerial acrobatics and music, at The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm, from 11th to 30th December.

Liana Mau Tan Gould will perform The Lady Of Burma, a one woman play about Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won a landslide election victory in 1990 but has never been allowed to govern, written and directed by Richard Shannon, at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, from 7th November to 2nd December. The producers are Riverside Studios, Louise Chantal and James Seabright, in association with the Burma Campaign UK

The International Student Playscript Competition, part of the annual National Student Drama Festival, to be held in Scarborough from 15th to 21st March, is now seeking submissions. The competition is unusual, being genuinely worldwide, having no restrictions on form, content, length, number of characters or locations, and giving every entry an appraisal. The winner receives a prize of 1,000, the chance of a professional radio production, and a rehearsed reading at the festival. The closing date for entries is 30th November. Further information on the competition and an entry form, together with details of how to participate in the festival, can be found at the NSDF web site, via the link from Festivals in the links section of TheatreNet.

Felicity Kendal will star in Noel Coward's The Vortex, the dark comedy of emotional blackmail and drug abuse in the relationship of a young musician and his mother, directed by Peter Hall, which will open a prospective pre West End tour at the Theatre Royal in Windsor on 13th November.

The winter season at the Oldham Coliseum includes the specially commissioned Union Street, by Ian Kershaw, a bitter sweet comedy about young love, broken dreams and the changing face of Oldham, with Gemma Wardle, Paul Laughran, Kyl Messios and Phil Rowson, directed by Kevin Shaw, currently playing; Jack And The Beanstalk, from 24th November; and Dario Fo's Can't Pay? Won't Pay!, translated by Lino Pertile, adapted by Bill Colvill, Robert Walker, an agit prop farce in which people take what they want from markets but only pay what they can afford, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 31st January.

The World As A Stage is an exhibition that explores the relationship between visual art and theatre, which will run at Tate Modern from 24th October to 1st January. It brings together a group of 16 international contemporary artists, and comprises a selection of large installations, sculptures, performances, films, participatory works and events. The theme is the extent to which a sense of theatre, or spectacle, has an impact upon the visitor's experience. The centrepiece will be Rita McBride's 'Arena1997', a fibreglass sculpture in the form of stadium seating, which will be used to stage live performances during the exhibition. Different elements of theatre - backstage, actors, props and audience - will be considered in relation to art and exhibition making. Works will be displayed both inside and outside the exhibition space, drawing attention to the theatrical nature of the everyday and incorporating the viewer into the work as both willing participant and oblivious performer viewed by others. So watch - and watch out.