News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th July 2007

Chichester Festival Theatre's acclaimed production of Macbeth, with Patrick Stewart, Kate Fleetwood, Suzanne Burden, Michael Feast, Scot Handy, Paul Shelly and Martin Turner, directed by Rupert Goold, will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre, opening on 26th September. This will be followed at the Gielgud by the Chichester production of The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, David Edgar's two part adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, with Daniel Weyman in the title role, directed by Jonathan Church and Philip Franks, from 5th December to 27th January. The producers are Duncan C Weldon and Paul Elliott for Triumph Entertainment.

The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry will reopen on 7th September after an 11m refurbishment and extension, designed by Stanton Williams, which includes a new 300 seater studio theatre, and rehearsal, education and exhibition spaces, with a commitment to stage more in house productions. The season in the main house will include: Bertolt Brecht's Mr Puntill And His Man, in a new version by Peter Arnott, about a man who is kind and generous when drunk but mean and miserable when sober, with David Hargreaves, directed by Hamish Glen; Odon Von Horvarth's Don Juan Comes Back From The War, in which the anti-hero of the title returns from battle imagining he has become a different person, but remaining who he is, directed by Gadi Roll; and Friedrich Schiller's The Robbers, a story of tyranny, terror and violence, also directed by Roll. In the new B2 space: Ferdinant Bruckner's Pain Of Youth, an ensemble piece about a group of nihilistic young doctors, directed by Gadi Roll; Garry Duggan's Monged, a black comedy about three young Irish men as they embark on a drug fuelled weekend, directed by Jim Culleton; Anthony Neilson's The Night Before Christmas, an anarchic adult comedy, directed by Hamish Glen; Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From A Marriage, about a couple who even divorce cannot keep apart, directed by Trevor Nunn; and the premiere of Alan Pollock's One Night In November, the story of one family's experience of the Coventry Blitz, directed by Hamish Glen.

The Gate Theatre has announced its autumn season, which will include: the British premiere of Swiss playwright Lukas Barfuss's The Sexual Neuroses Of Our Parents, about a girl who, when her parents take her off tranquillisers, has a sexual awakening more potent than they could have imagined, directed by Carrie Cracknell, with choreography by Ben Duke, from 31st August to 29th September; Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal's The Car Cemetery, which tells of a car junkyard on the edge of the earth, where society's outcasts party like there is no tomorrow, directed by Natalie Abrahami, from 1st November to 1st December; and I Am Falling, a new international dance theatre collaboration, exploring the realities of an aging body and an agile mind, directed by Carrie Cracknell, from 4th January to 2nd February.

Jeff Baron's Visiting Mr Green, with Warren Mitchell and David Sturzaker, directed by Patrick Garland, will open a prospective pre West End tour at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester on 10th September. An executive guilty of reckless driving, is ordered to make regular visits to the elderly man he almost knocked down, during which an uneasy relationship develops. The producer is Ian Fricker.

On The Casting Couch: Diana Rigg, Lesley Manville, Joanne Froggatt, Colin Morgan and Charlotte Randle will be joined by Eleanor Bron, Mark Gatiss, Bradley Freegard, Robert Galas, Lucy-Anne Holmes, Eileen Nicholas, Yvonne O'Grady, Michael Shaeffer in All About My Mother, opening at the Old Vic Theatre on 4th September; and Bertie Carvel, Lara Pulver, Helen Anker, Mark Bonnar, Norman Bowman, Shaun Escoffery, Joanna Kirkland, Gary Milner, Steven Page, Malinda Parris, Stuart Matthew Price, Zoe Rainey, Celia Mei Rubin, Stephen Webb and Jayne Wisener comprise the cast of Parade, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 24th September.

The autumn season at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court will include the world premieres of the musical When Midnight Strikes, music by Charles Miller, book and lyrics by Kevin Hammonds, in which socialites in a Manhattan loft on Millennium eve make new resolutions and review past mistakes, directed by Fenton Gray, with musical staging by Norma Atallah, playing from 7th to 29th September, produced by Strike Up The Band; James Graham's Little Madam, a flight of fancy through the British political landscape of the late 20th Century, exploring the nature of sacrifice and the price of power, directed by Kate Wasserberg, playing from 4th to 27th October; and Peter Oswald's Lucifer Saved, an interweaving of modern story and Christian myth, of tragedy and comedy, involving two men damaged by war, directed by Reuben Grove, playing from 1st to 24 November, produced by Giraffe Productions.

Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre, in association with Arts Council England, as part of their New Producer's Bursary Scheme, are offering Producer Training Internships. This is a unique opportunity for new producers wishing to work in a producer's office and learn more about commercial theatre producing. Up to three internships are offered in the current round. The successful candidates are likely to have had at least one year's practical experience in theatre administration, and must be committed to a career in commercial theatre production. The award is up to 15,000 per year to cover expenses. The closing date for this round of applications is 3rd August. Further information and an application form can be found on the Stage One web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Scottish Ballet's 2007/2008 season will include a triple bill comprising the world premiere Stephen Petronio's Ride The Beast, together with Trisha Brown's For M.G. - The Movie, an abstract piece built on the idea of performance itself and what it means to perform, and Ashley Page's Fearful Symmetries, a celebration of pure dance set to John Adams's minimalist score, both new to Scottish Ballet, opening at Edinburgh Playhouse on 18th August; and the world premiere of Ashley Page's The Sleeping Beauty, which opens a tour at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on 11th December.

The Almeida Theatre has announced a further production. Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine, about relationships set in colonial Africa and contemporary Britain, directed by Thea Sharrock, will open on 31st October.

Sheffield Theatres autumn season will include in the Crucible: Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, exploring the relationship between the Austrian Court composer Antonio Salieri and his young rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, directed by Nikolai Foster, opening on 13th November; in the Lyceum: Cinderella, written and directed by Paul Hendy, with Hayley Tammadon, Matt Baker, Ryan Moloney and Rob McVeigh, from 13th December, a co-production with Evolution Productions; and Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, based on the life of John Merrick, rescued from a freak show to become a favourite of the aristocracy and literati, directed by Ellie Jones, from 21st February; and in the Studio: Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, in a new version by Neil Duffield, directed by Karen Simpson, employing puppets, song and dance, opening on 5th December, produced in association with Nottingham Playhouse Roundabout.

The Rumour Machine says: that Michael Grandage will direct Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor and Kelly Reilly in Othello, at the Donmar Warehouse later this year; that David Hare's The Vertical Hour, which premiered on Broadway earlier this year with Bill Nighy, may be staged at the Royal Court Theatre next year; and that Jonathan Miller may direct Hamlet at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol next year, with a cast that could include Joanna Lumley. The Rumour Machine grinds on.