News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th August 2010

Following the refurbishment of the auditorium, the autumn season at the Theatre Royal Bath will include Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, the classic comedy of romance, confusion and commitment, set in Regency Bath, with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles, directed by Peter Hall, opening on 7th September; Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, in which a seance summons up the ghost of a novelist's first wife, who is determined to cause trouble for him and her replacement, with Alison Steadman, Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris, directed by Thea Sharrock, opening on 3rd November; Terrence McNally's Master Class, inspired by the classes opera singer Maria Callas gave in New York in the 1970s, with Stephanie Beacham, directed by Jonathan Church, opening on 29th November; and Aladdin, with Ricky Groves, Gemma Hunt, Chris Harris and Jon Monie, from 16th December; and in the Ustinov Studio, the premiere of Lucinda Coxon's Herding Cats, a study of the relationships of three disperate contemporary characters, directed by Anthony Banks, opening on 8th December.

American composer, lyricist and performer Jason Robert Brown will make his West End concert debut, joined by Anika Noni Rose, in a programme of new material and songs from his shows, at the Garrick Theatre on 24th and 25th September. The producers are Neil Eckersley and Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment.

A revised version of the musical Tomorrow Morning, book, music and lyrics by Laurence Mark Wythe, about a couple, both when they are about to marry, and 10 years later, when they are about to divorce, with Jon Lee and Julie Atherton, directed by Robert Mcwhir, will open at the Landor Theatre, in Clapham, on 19th October.

New York TheatreNet: A new musical, Wonderland, book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy, directed by Gregory Boyd, with choreography by Marguerite Derricks, will open at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced on 17th April. It is a contemporary story about a woman who has lost her joy in life, is estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, who finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Forthcoming productions at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, will include Tennessee Williams's Two Character Play, in which reality and fantasy are interwoven as two actors on tour (brother and sister) find themselves deserted by the company in a decrepit theatre, directed by Gene David Kirk, opening on 26th October; and a double bill about teenagers by Philip Ridley, comprising Karamazoo, showing two sides to one person, and Fairytaleheart, about a chance but powerful meeting, opening on 22nd November.

The autumn season at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich will include Oscar Wilde's 'serious comedy for trivial people' The Importance Of Being Earnest, directed by Ellie Jones, from 17th September; the premiere of Paul Sirett's Reasons To Be Cheerful, a coming of age tale set in 1979, with the songs of Ian Dury, directed by Jenny Sealey, from 14th October, a co-production with Graeae Theatre Company and the Theatre Royal Stratford East; Songs From A Hotel Bedroom, written and directed by Kate Flatt and Peter Rowe, featuring songs by Kurt Weill, a reflection on a love affair set in post Second World War New York, with Frances Ruffelle, Nigel Richards, Amir Giles and Tara Pilbrow, from 20th October, a co-production with Segue and Watford Palace Theatre; and Jack And The Beanstalk, a rock 'n' roll pantomime by Peter Rowe and Alan Ellis, from 2nd December.

Stage One is inviting applications for The Apprentice Scheme For New Producers. It is an opportunity for new producers wanting to learn more about commercial theatre production to get one year's paid training in a producer's office in London. Applicants must have at least one year's practical experience in theatre administration or production, and be committed to a career in commercial theatre production. The award is up to 15,000 to cover expenses for the year. The closing date for applications is 9th September. 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.

The Underground Collective will stage a double bill of one person plays comprising Gary Mitchell's Suicide Brunette, with Jessica Hrabowsky as a young single mother struggling to come to terms with the choices she has made; and Christopher Hanvey's The Native, with Christopher Hanvey as an Arkansas farm boy, tortured by his past, who is summoned to a Native Reservation to murder an innocent girl and her unborn child, both directed by Heather Davies, opening at the Old Red Lion, at the Angel, Islington, on 13th October.

The autumn season at the Oldham Coliseum will include Kes, adapted by Lawrence Till from Barry Hines's novel about an isolated young boy and his relationship with a kestrel, with Adam Barlow, Paul Barnhill, Antony Bessick, Isobel Ford, Christian Foster, Ged McKenna, Jake Norton, Meriel Scholfield, Simeon Truby and James Wooldridge, directed by Kevin Shaw, opening on 3rd September; Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, the comedy in which a vaudeville double act that broke up in acrimony is reunited for a television special, directed by Joyce Branagh, opening on 8th October; Sleeping Beauty by Eric Potts, with Patrick Bridgman, Sue Devaney, Nicole Evans, Richard J Fletcher, Fine Time Fontayne, Linzi Matthews and Amy Rhiannon Worth, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 20th November; and Noel Coward's Private Lives, about a divorced couple on their honeymoons with their new spouses, who find that their relationship is not over, opening on 28th January, a co-production with Harrogate Theatre.

Good Night Out Theatre is to stage a two month repertory of 6 plays by Edward Bond at The Cock Tavern in Kilburn: Olly's Prison, about a father's attempts to communicate with his daughter, with Ewan Bailey, Melissa Suffield, Elicia Daly, Robin Berry, Terry Jermyn, Charlotte Fields, Frank McGinty and James Kenward, directed by Gareth Corke, from 14th September; The Pope's Wedding, a portrait of a frustrated, inarticulate, and finally murderous country labourer, directed by Conrad Blakemore, from 19th September; The Under Room, in which a woman finds a stranger living in her cellar in a dystopian future, directed by Hamish Macdougall, from 5th October; The Fool, exploring the artist's place and role within society through the life of the 19th century peasant poet John Clare, from 5th October; a new play, as yet untitled, directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher, from 26th October; and Red, Black & Ignorant, depicting man and his decline into greed and despair, directed by Maja Milatovic-Ovadia, from 31st October.