News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th May 2011

It has been confirmed that the Royal Shakespeare Company production of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, book by Dennis Kelly, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, about a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers, with Bertie Carvel, Paul Kaye, Josie Walker, Lauren Ward, Marc Antolin, Verity Bentham, Michael Kent, Melanie La Barrie, Matthew Malthouse, Alastair Parker, Nick Searle and Emily Shaw, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling, will open at the Cambridge Theatre on 22nd November.

English National Opera's 2011/2012 season at the London Coliseum will include the British premiere of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's The Passenger, about the effect of the Holocaust on its victims and perpetrators, directed by David Pountney; the London premieres of John Adams's The Death Of Klinghoffer, set onboard the liner Achille Lauro during the terrorist hijacking in 1985, directed by Tom Morris; and Damon Albarn's Doctor Dee, the story of an influential Elizabethan, directed by Rufus Norris; new productions of Detlev Glanert's Caligula, directed by Benedict Andrews; Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro; Rameau's Castor And Pollux; Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; Offenbach's The Tales Of Hoffmann; Wagner's The Flying Dutchman; and Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd; plus Wolfgang Rihm's Jakob Lenz, about how society makes pariahs of schizophrenics, directed by Sam Brown, staged at the Hampstead Theatre. There will be revivals of Jonathan Miller's production of Donizetti's The Elixir Of Love; Catherine Malfitano's production of Puccini's Tosca; David McVicar's production of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier; and Anthony Minghella's production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly.

The Hampstead Theatre has added a further production to its current season. Sarah Helm's Loyalty, with Maxine Peake, directed by Edward Hall, will open on 20th July. A fictionalised memoir, the play draws on Helm's experiences as a political and foreign correspondent, and her husband's time as Chief of Staff at 10 Downing Street, leading up to and during the Iraq War.

New York TheatreNet: Roundabout Theatre Company will stage Terrence Rattigan's Man And Boy, a confrontation between a father and his estranged son, against a backdrop of love, betrayal and high finance, with Frank Langella, directed by Maria Aitken, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on 9th October. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The 2011/2012 season at the Curve in Leicester, will include the premiere of Desh, a dance piece by Akram Khan; Dan Wasserman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the story of a gambler who has faked psychosis to avoid jail, but finds that life in a mental hospital is worse than he bargained for, directed by Michael Buffong; Sam Shepard's Buried Child, about a deeply dysfunctional family disillusioned with the American dream; the musical 42nd Street, book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin, the legendary backstage musical in which a chorus girl is instructed to "go out there a youngster and come back a star", directed by Paul Kerryson; the premiere of Stella Feehily's Bang Bang Bang, exploring the world of charities and NGOs, directed by Max Stafford-Clark; and the musical Gypsy, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the story of the quintessential child star mother, and her daughter who became Gypsy Rose Lee, with Caroline O'Connor, directed by Paul Kerryson.

Forthcoming productions at Wilton's Music Hall in Wapping will include the premiere of Into Thy Hands, written and directed by Jonathan Holmes, a bioplay about the metaphysical poet John Donne, with Zubin Varla, opening on 2nd June, a Jericho House production.

Glyndebourne Opera is partnering with the Science Museum and the Guardian to join the trend for live performance relays. There will be with showings at the museum on one of the biggest screens in Britain, with digital surround sound and high definition, of Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg, on 26th June, Mozart's Don Giovanni, pre-recorded from the 2010 season on 31st July, and Britten's The Turn Of The Screw on 21st August - with picnic hampers available. In addition, Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg and The Turn Of The Screw will be streamed live on the Guardian web site, and will then be available for the next 7 days, free of charge to viewers.

The 34th Spitalfields Festival, centred on Christ Church Spitalfields, runs from 10th to 25th June, with 60 events in various venues, both indoors and out, including Spitalfields Market, Bishop's Square, Village Underground, Shoreditch Church and Spitalfields City Farm. The programme features a wide range of music, from medieval to contemporary jazz. Highlights include the premieres of We Are Shadows, a community opera, music by John Barber, libretto by Hazel Gould, a shadowy tale of identity theft; James Week's The Freedom Of The Earth, inspired by the writing of 17th century radical Gerrard Winstanley; Michel van der Aa's song-cycle Spaces Of Blank; and 2 new works by Jonathan Dove. In addition to the concerts, there are free lunchtime and early evening rush hour events featuring young performers and composers, plus classical karaoke, bell ringing, fringe events, walks, talks, visits and exhibitions about the Spitalfields area and Nicholas Hawkesmoor's Christ Church, one of the great baroque churches of Europe. Further information can be found on the Spitalfields Festival web site, via the link from Festivals, in the Links section of TheatreNet.

In The Night Garden Live, based on the CBeebies television series, created, written and composed by Andrew Davenport, has returned for a second season, presenting two alternative shows in a specially constructed dome, located in Trafford Centre, Manchester from 28th May to 2nd June, Woburn Abbey from 18th June to 2nd July, Bute Park, Cardiff from 9th to 23 July, Richmond Old Deer Park from 30th July to 13th August, Bewl Water, Tunbridge Wells from 20th August to 3rd September, and Brent Cross from 10th to 24th September.