News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st April 2006

The Royal Opera House is continuing its ROH2 series of innovative and experimental small scale dance, opera and music events, staged in the Linbury Theatre and Clore Studio. Dance will include visits by Bare Bones with new pieces by Stan Won't Dance, Arthur Pita and David Massingham; Australian Ballet with Unspoken Dialogues by Stephen Baynes; and the National Ballet of Canada with a new work by Matjash Mrozewski; while the Royal Ballet will perform Cathy Morton's interpretation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, with Matthew Hart, Charlotte Broom and Jenny Tattersall; and new pieces by Liam Scarlett, Jonathan Watkins and Kit Holder. Opera and music will include visits by The Opera Group with Judith Wier's Blond Ekbert, a Hitchcock twist on Ludwig Tiek's fairy tale, and Shostakovich's The Nose, both directed by John Fulljames; and Queen of Puddings Music Theatre with The Midnight Court, adaptated from Brian Merriman's epic poem about love and marriage, with music by Ana Sololovic and libretto by Paul Bentley, directed by Dairine Ni Mheadhra and John Hess. Full details can be found on the ROH web site via the link from London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The National Theatre has announcer a further production in its summer schedule. James Joyce's only play, Exiles, directed by James Macdonald, will open in the Cottesloe on 2nd August. Semi autobiographical, it is the story of a couple who return to Dublin after nine years abroad, to confront two people who love them, and ask questions about guilt and responsibility.

Richard Frame, Faye Tozer, Sylvester McCoy, Trevor Bannister and Dillie Keane will star in a new production of the musical Me And My Girl, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, which will open a prospective pre London tour at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth on 1st September. The quintessential British musical, about a cockney costermonger who inherits an Earldom (much to the consternation of his new aristocratic family) has music by Noel Gay, and lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber, who also wrote the book, which was revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent. The producers are Alex Armitage for Noel Gay Productions and Edward Snape for Fiery Angel.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, American film actress and singer Juliette Lewis will make her stage debut in Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, a two hander set in a motel room with two doomed lovers uncovering dark secrets, directed by Lindsay Posner, opening at the Apollo Theatre on 13th June. The producer is Out of the Blue Productions.

The Warehouse Theatre Croydon is holding its 21st International Playwriting Festival, in partnership with Italian festival Premio Candoni Arta Terme and Teatro Ena, Cyprus. It is in three parts: a competition for previously unproduced full length plays with entries from all over the world, followed by a series of workshops and readings of ten shortlisted plays, leading on to the presentation of four finalists on 18th and 19th November. Last year there were 500 submissions. The deadline for entries is 30th June. Further information and an entry form can be found on the Warehouse web site via the link from the UK London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Rufus Sewell, Sinead Cusack and Brian Cox will star in Tom Stoppard's play Rock 'N' Roll, directed by Trevor Nunn, which receives its premiere at the Royal Court Theatre on 3rd June, and will transfer directly to the Duke of York's Theatre in July. The play is set in Czechoslovakia and Britain, moving between 1956, 1968 and the present day, with two different views on the Czech revolt against communism.

New York TheatreNet: Michael York is to star in a revised version of the musical Camelot, directed by Glenn Casale, with choreography by Dan Mojica, opening at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in California, late this year. The production will then undertake a six month national tour starting in January, possibly ending in New York. Michael Lerner will oversee revisions to the show, which has book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and music Frederick Loewe. Based on T H White's novel The Once And Future King, it tells the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

This year's Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, which runs from 4th to 27th May, traces the threads that link traditional, contemporary, jazz and world music with 18th century repertoire. Alongside major works by Bach, Handel, Telemann and Vivaldi there will be music from Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the New World, many of which fed into Western art music. Piano recitals explore the ways in which Baroque composers inspired later generations, including Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen and Schoenberg, as well as the jazz improvisations of Jacques Loussier. Performers include the South African gospel choir SDASA Chorale, the Diana Baroni Trio from Latin America, and period orchestras from Canada, France, Germany and Italy. Concerts are at St John's Smith Square, plus Mozart's Requiem Mass in Westminster Abbey. Further information can be found on the LFBM web site via Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Fraser Grice's Breakfast With Mugabe, directed by Antony Sher, part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's New Writing season currently at the Soho Theatre, will transfer to the Duchess Theatre, opening on 8th May. Joseph Mydell and David Rintoul play the African dictator and a psychiatrist who is treating him for depression at the time of the 2002 election, with Noma Dumezweni and Christopher Obi. It will be presented by Thelma Holt and Nica Burns.

The Rumour Machine says: that Henry Goodman will star in the Joseph Stein-Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical Fiddler On The Roof, directed by Lindsay Posner, at the Crucible in Sheffield at the end of this year, with a West End transfer in mind; that Cirque du Soleil, the French Canadian 'circus with pretensions' company, may take up a permanent residency in the new Millennium Dome entertainment complex, which will open next year; and that Roy Williams is writing a stage adaptation of E R Braithwaite's previously filmed novel To Sir With Love, about a Guyanese teacher in an East End school in 1950s London, hoping for a West End production next spring. The Rumour Machine grinds on.