News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th November 2010

The spring season at the National Theatre will include, in the Olivier: Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, directed by Danny Boyle, opening on 22nd and 23rd February; in the Lyttelton: Moira Buffini and Matt Charman's Greenland, a documentary about the environment, with Lyndsey Marshal, Michael Gould, Peter McDonald and Amanda Lawrence, directed by Bijan Sheibani, opening on 1st February; and Clifford Odets's Rocket To The Moon, in which a man's humdrum world is turned upside down by the arrival of a woman discovering life and hungry for love, directed by Angus Jackson, opening on 30th March; and in the Cottesloe: Ryan Craig's The Holy Rosenbergs, about members of a contemporary London family trying to reconcile their individual identities with the expectations of their community, with Henry Goodman, directed by Laurie Sansom, opening on 16th March.

The Bush Theatre is to move from its current home above a pub on Shepherd's Bush Green to a newly created space in the old library building on Uxbridge Road in October next year when its current lease expires. Hammersmith and Fulham Council has offered the space on a 125 year lease at a peppercorn rent. This will provide the company with a 140 seater theatre (up from 80 at its present location), and substantial space for dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, offices and a cafe/bar, designed by Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins.

The spring season at the Royal Court Theatre will include Richard Bean's The Heretic, a black comedy about climate change, questioning whether the science on the subject is really proven, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opening on 10th February; and Simon Stephens's Wastwater, about how the choices made by 3 couples living on edge of Heathrow Airport define their futures, directed by Katie Mitchell, opening on 5th April.

On The Casting Couch at the Donmar Warehouse: Steve Pemberton, Katherine Kingsley, Chris Carswell, David Fynn, Hayley Gallivan, Harry Hepple, Maria Lawson, Ako Mitchell and Iris Roberts will take part in the Rachel Sheinkin-William Finn musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, opening on 21st February; and David Bradley, Deborah Findlay and Daniel Mays will head the cast of Harold Pinter's Moonlight, opening on 12th April.

Wilton's Vintage Christmas, a Victorian style entertainment, with carols, music hall songs, poetry and readings, devised and directed by Nick Hutchison, with Graham Seed, Amanda Claire-Jones, Michael Fenton Stevens, Lottie Latham, Vincent Leigh, Charlotte Newton John and Owen Pugh, will play at Wilton's Music Hall, in Wapping, from 5th to 18th December.

Leslie Jordan will perform his solo Off Broadway show My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, a collection of true life stories charting his journey from small-town USA to Hollywood, directed by David Galligan, at the Apollo Theatre in February.

New York TheatreNet: Cirque du Soleil will stage Zarkana, a new show at Radio City Music Hall created especially for the venue, written and directed by François Girard, music by Nick Littlemore, with choreography by Elena Kolyadenko and Debra Brown, featuring a cast of 71 international artists, beginning performances on June 9th and playing until September 4th. In an abandoned theatre a magician who has lost his love, and with her his magic, begs the Gods for her return, and is plunged into a world inhabited by surreal creatures. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Luke Bateman and Katie Darby's All I Want For Christmas, a musical comedy in which a man hires an escort to pose as his girlfriend on a visit to his parents in an effort to make the perfect Christmas Day, with Jessica Martin, Andrew C Wadsworth, Erica Guyatt and Rob Hughes, directed by Anthony Biggs, will play at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, from 23rd November to 18th December.

The current Broadway jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet, book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, set on the night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together at Sun Records in Memphis, directed by Eric Schaeffer, will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on 28th February. The producers are Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology, John Gore, Thomas B McGrath, James L Nederlander, Joseph Smith and Michael McCabe.

Evelyn Waugh's Decline And Fall, the story of a student sent down from Oxford in the 1920s, who becomes a master at disreputable Welsh boarding school, adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett, with Sylvester McCoy, Fay Downie, Jonathan Hansler, Michael Lindall, Emily Murphy, Owen Roberts and Morgan Thomas, directed by Tom King, will open at the Old Red Lion Theatre, at the Angel, Islington, on 3rd December. The producers are Henry Filloux-Bennett, Stephen Makin and Kellie Spooner and Nick Rogers.

The James Menzies-Kitchin Memorial Trust is inviting applications for the 2011 Young Theatre Director's Award. The Trust was formed in 1996 with the aim of assisting young untried directors. A Bursary of £12,000 is awarded, together with help and support, and a space at a London venue to enable the recipient to direct a text, chosen from a selection of over 100 plays. A runner up award of £2,000 may also made. Applicants must be British theatre professionals under the age of 30 who have undergone professional performing arts training, but have directed no more than two professional productions. The deadline for applications is 7th January. Further information can be found on the JMK Trust web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Broadway musical Jekyll And Hyde, book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, music by Frank Wildhorn, adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's gothic novella, with Marti Pellow, will open a national tour at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 20th January. The producer is Bill Kenwright.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Royal Court Theatre production of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, a comic picture of contemporary rural England, will transfer to Broadway in the spring, with original stars Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook, directed by Ian Rickson; and that the recent Lincoln Center New York's production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sher, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, may find a London home at The Barbican, prior to a regional tour courtesy of the Ambassador Theatre Group. The Rumour Machine grinds on.