News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th April 2012

The Society Of London Theatre's Get Into London Theatre initiative, designed to encourage new and young theatregoers to experience the wealth of theatrical fare to be found in London, is making a second appearance this year. Discounted tickets are available now for over 40 shows, including plays, musicals, dance and entertainment, encompassing West End and Off West End theatres. Tickets cost from 10 to 40 for selected performances from 21st June to 9th September, but must be booked by 31st May. Further information and booking is available on the GILT web site, via the link opposite below.

This year's Laurence Olivier Awards were dominated by Matilda The Musical, taking a record breaking 7 awards, including New Musical, Best Actress (Musical) - the 4 Matildas, Best Actor (Musical) - Bertie Carvel, Director - Matthew Warchus and Choreography - Peter Darling. Crazy For You won Musical Revival; Collaborators took New Play; Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller shared Actor (Play) - Frankenstein; Anna Christie won Play Revival and Best Actress (Play) - Ruth Wilson. Highlights of the awards ceremony can be viewed on BBC iPlayer, and full details of all the nominees and winners can be found on the Society Of London Theatre web site via the link opposite below.

The 118th season of the BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts takes place at the Royal Albert Hall between 13th July and 8th September. The world's greatest classical music festival centres on 76 main concerts (at least one every evening) with consistently low ticket prices, including half price tickets for under 16s, and 500 'promming' tickets at only 5 each, available every day 30 minutes before the doors open. In addition, there is a series of lunch time Chamber Music Proms at the Cadogan Hall, Late Night Proms, and Proms Plus events, such as pre-prom and composer portrait talks, family orchestra concerts at the Royal College of Music. All concerts are broadcast live on Radio 3, with many televised on BBC4, and available via audio and video webcasts. Among the highlights are the Royal Opera with Berlioz's epic The Trojans; a concert devoted to idiosyncratic works by John Cage; John Adams conducting his Nixon In China with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; the Halle Orchestra with a celebration of Ivor Novello; and Wallace and Gromit in a children's Prom. The Last Night will include the 17th outdoor Proms In The Park, with 35,000 people in Hyde Park, and simultaneous concerts running across the country, plus big screen relays in other cities. Further information can be found on the BBC Proms web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Hampstead Theatre production of Chariots Of Fire, adapted by Mike Bartlett from Colin Welland's screenplay for the 1981 film, telling the story of two very different British athletes competing in the 1924 Paris Olympics, with Simon Williams, Nickolas Grace, James McArdle, Jack Lowden and Nicholas Woodeson, directed by Edward Hall, which opens on 22nd May, will transfer to the Gueilgd Theatre, from 22nd June. The producers are Hugh Hudson, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson and Michael Rose.

New York TheatreNet: The Vineyard Theatre's Developmental Lab production of the musical The Landing, book and lyrics by Greg Pierce, music by John Kander, a 4 handed musical in 3 acts, telling 3 different stories of people confronting what it means to get what they want, with Julia Murney, David Hyde Pierce and Paul Anthony Stewart, directed by Walter Bobbie, will play from 15th May to 3rd June. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Shakespeare's Globe will celebrate Shakespeare's birthday and the opening of its Globe To Globe festival of 37 plays in 37 different languages with Sonnet Sunday, a free event on Sunday 22nd April from 10am to 5pm. In the Underglobe there will be an international food market, calligraphers, music and dancers, and in the theatre there will be a marathon of all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets in over 20 different languages not represented in the festival - including Cornish and Klingon.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will celebrate Shakespeare's birthday with a festival on Saturday 22nd April from 10.30am in Stratford upon Avon, with demonstrations and workshops, free family activities and the Sonnet Ferry, where RSC actors recite sonnets as passengers journey across the river on the chain ferry. Events taking place around the town will include the annual procession from Shakespeare's Birthplace to his grave at the Holy Trinity Church at 10.30am.

The Almeida Theatre, in Islington, will stage the premiere of Nick Dear's The Dark Earth And The Light Sky, a bioplay about the writer Edward Thomas, whose career was cut short by the First World War, directed by Richard Eyre, from 8th November. The Almeida's Summer Festival, running from 2nd to 28th July will include Mass-Observation, a devised work by Inspector Sands, about 95 years that have gone by in a flash and an afternoon that lasts an eternity; Theatre of the Emerging American Moment with RoosevElvis a work in progress with 2 women playing at cowboys and Elvises; and Lost Dog with a double bill of backstage circus tales, comprising It Needs Horses and Home For Broken Turns.

Charles Dyer's Mother Adam, about a bedridden mother who prevents her son from leading his own life, with Linda Marlowe and Jasper Britton, directed by Gene David Kirk, will play at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, from 8th May.

Theatre Delicatessen, which produces shows in found spaces, will stage a 'contemporary and immersive' production of Shakespeare's Henry V in the former BBC London offices in Marylebone, re-christened Marylebone Gardens, from 22nd May to 30th June. This will be followed by a range of installations and performances from a variety of artists and companies throughout the summer, including an 'indoor pleasure garden' where audiences will be able to watch performances and screened sports events as they picnic on an indoor lawn (perhaps the answer to British summer weather).