Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
The spring season at the Soho Theatre will include A Walk On Part - The Fall Of New Labour, adapted from the diaries of former minister Chris Mullin by Michael Chaplin, with John Hodgkinson, directed by Max Roberts, from 21st March; Swamp Juice, written and performed by Jeff Achtem, bringing to life the residents of a swamp including bickering toads, overbearing fairies and a rather gentle monster, directed by Steve Marmion and Max Roberts, from 17th April; Ella Hickson's Boys, about 4 students at a post exam party that they are determined will get out of hand, directed by Robert Icke, from 30th May, a Headlong production; and Utopia, in which multiple writers examine different visions of the future, directed by Steve Marmion and Max Roberts, from 20th June.
The Old Red Lion Theatre's production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, the 'trivial comedy for serious people' hailed as the funniest comedy in the English language, with Harriet Ballard, Simon Grujich, Stephanie Lane, James McNicholas, Rachel Nussbaum, Owen Roberts, Morgan Thomas and Janet Jefferies, directed by Henry Filloux-Bennett, will transfer to the Haymarket Theatre for 2 weeks from 31 January.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea, adapted and directed by David Wood, from Judith Kerr's picture book that tells how a young girl's afternoon tea with her mother is unexpectedly interrupted by a mischievous tiger, with Abbey Norman, Alan Atkins and Jenanne Redman, will return to play daytime performances at the Lyric Theatre from 4th July to 2nd September.
New York TheatreNet: A gospel-infused musical comedy Leap Of Faith, book by Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, based on the 1992 film about a fraudulent faith healer, with Raul Esparza, Jessica Phillips and Kendra Kassebaum, directed by Christopher Ashley, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, will preview from April 3rd at the St James Theatre. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.
The winter/spring season at Salisbury Playhouse will include Noel Coward's Design For Living, following the developing triangular relationship of three free spirits in the 1930s, moving from Paris, to London, to New York, with Kieran Hill, Gyuri Sarossy and Marianne Oldham, directed by Caroline Leslie, from 26th January; Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, with Daniel Boyd, Catrin Stewart, Simon Coates and Brigid Zengeni, directed by Robert Icke, from 28th February; George Axelrod's The Seven Year Itch, the comedy telling what happens when a middle-aged man whose wife and family are on holiday, meets a girl who has just moved into the apartment upstairs, directed by Blanche McIntyre, from 15th March; and Howard Brenton's Epsom Downs, an epic state of the nation comedy set at the racecourse on Derby day in the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, directed by Gareth Machin, from 2nd May.
Forthcoming productions at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston will include the British premiere of Sofi Oksanen's Purge, English translation by Eva Buchwald, in which two fugitives meet in a forest, where their survival depends on the one thing that they've learnt to keep secret: the truth, with Liam Thomas, directed by Elgiva Field from 22nd February, a Borealis Theatre production; and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, the legendary dystopian vision of the future (now the present) with Paul Coldrick, Kyle Edward-Hubbard, Alex Moran, Mairi Phillips and Billy Rayner, directed by Paul Davies, with movement by Catherine Bennett, from 21st March, a Volcano production.
Welsh National Opera's 2012/2013 season will include new productions of Puccini's La Boheme, directed by Annabel Arden; Alban Berg's Lulu, directed by David Pountney; Wagner's Lohengrin, directed by Antony McDonald; and Jonathan Harvey's electro-acoustic opera Wagner Dream, music by Gilbert Nouno, libretto by Jean Claude Carriere, which mingles scenes from Wagner's domestic life with the myth of Prakriti; plus revivals of Handel's Jephtha, directed by Katie Mitchell; Mozart's Cosė fan tutte, directed by Benjamin Davis; Puccini's Madam Butterfly, directed by Joachim Herz; and Janacek's The Cunning Litle Vixen, directed by David Pountney.
Tom Hunter: A Midsummer Night's Dream an exhibition at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon until 1st April, features a series of photographs inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the paintings of the Romantic artist Henry Fuseli. Taking key moments from the play, Tom Hunter has distilled Shakespeare's work into images that weave together contemporary city life with that of the timeless tale of love and illusion. Hunter is best known for his photographic reworkings of old master paintings, and his take on the play focuses on real lives and communities in Hackney where he lives and works. Hunter's Titania is an exotic samba dancer stretched out on a table at a snooker hall, Helena is a pole dancer at a strip club, and the 'Rude Mechanicals' are a female thrash metal band rehearsing in a back room.
The Roundhouse, at Chalk Farm, has joined the 360° Network, a global group of in-the-round venues, including Le Comete in France, Teatro Circo Price in Madrid and La Tohu in Canada, which will commission international work together. The first production will be Cartes, by Robert Lepage, to be created in four parts between 2012 and 2015, with the first instalment opening in Madrid in May, arriving at the Roundhouse in February next year. Each instalment will be inspired by one of the four suits in playing cards, with the first set in Las Vegas at the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003.
Paul Sirett's Reasons To Be Cheerful, a play with the songs of Ian Dury, telling a coming of age tale set in 1979, with Stephen Lloyd, Stephen Collins, Nadia Albina, Karen Spicer and Garry Robson, directed by Jenny Sealey will return to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich on 9th February, opening a national tour.
The Rumour Machine says: that the National Theatre will stage People, a new play by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner in October; and that Heidi Thomas has been commissioned to write a new book for a Broadway production of the Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe musical Gigi, from the film based on the Collette novel. The Rumour Machine grinds on.