News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st April 2011

The Donmar Warehouse is to stage a second season at Trafalgar Studios 2 from November, directed by graduates from the company's resident assistant director programme. It will comprise the premiere of Tim Price's Salt, Root And Roe, a tale of aging twins who are devoted to each other, directed by Hamish Pirie; Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol, about a man who has descended into alcoholism but is given a final chance by his estranged daughter, directed by Abbey Wright; and Jean-Paul Sartre's Huis Clos, in a translation by Stuart Gilbert, the existentialist classic in which three people left alone in a locked room ponder, directed by Paul Hart.

The summer season at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court will include the musical The Roar Of The Greasepaint, The Smell Of The Crowd, book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, an allegorical satire on the British class system, directed by Ian Judge, opening on 9th June, a co-production with DreamTower Productions; and the premiere of Nick Gill's Mirror Teeth, a black comedy examining political correctness and middle-class morality, directed by Kate Wasserberg, opening on 7th July, a co-production with Brawl.

New York TheatreNet: Samuel L Jackson will star in Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which imagines a meeting in a hotel room on the night before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, in which he is forced to confront his past and the future of his people, directed by Kenny Leon, opening at the Jacobs Theatre on October 13th. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The Union Theatre production of Darren Murphy's Irish Blood, English Heart, an exploration of memories and how they can shape our lives, with Howard Teale, Ian Groombridge, Oliver Gilbert and Carolyn Tomkinson, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, will be remounted at the Trafalgar Studios 2, opening on 4th May. The producers are Ray Suede Productions in association with Ancient Lights Theatre Company.

On The Casting Couch: Samantha Spiro will be joined by Tom Rosenthal, Danny Webb, Alexis Zegerman, Jenna Augen, Steve Furst, Joel Gillman, Ilan Goodman and Harry Peacock in Arnold Wesker's Chicken Soup With Barley, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 7th June

The Scoop, the 1,000 seater open air amphitheatre next to City Hall, on the south bank opposite the Tower of London, is presenting another summer season of free performances, Thursdays to Sundays from 4th August to 4th September. It will comprise Bertolt Brecht's The Mother, in a new translation by Mark Ravenhill, a portrait of a family and neighbourhood in crisis at a time when ordinary people must stand up for what they believe; and Jules Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days, the story of a Victorian adventurer's attempt to circle the globe to win a bet, adapted by Phil Willmott, who will direct both plays, and produced by Suzanna Rosenthal and The Steam Industry. There is no need to book - just turn up and sit down.

The Mariinsky Ballet will return to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden from 25th July to 13th August, performing Swan Lake, Homage To Fokine, a triple bill comprising Chopiniana, Scheherazade, and The Firebird, Don Quixote, Balanchine | Robbins, a triple bill comprising Scotch Symphony, In The Night and Ballet Imperial, Anna Karenina and La Bayadere. The season is presented by Victor Hochhauser.

The summer season at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill Gate will comprise Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Story, adapted and directed by Anna Ledwich, in which a husband and wife are driven apart into rival worlds of erotic revenge, opening on 15th June; David Davalos's Wittenberg, which pits the wit of the radical Doctor Faustus against the faith of the conservative Martin Luther, while their student is a troubled Prince Hamlet, directed by Christopher Haydon, opening on 1st September; and Federico Garcia Lorca's Yerma, in a new version by Anthony Weigh, about a woman desperate for a child battling with sexual temptation and the lure of a sorceress, directed by Natalie Abrahami, opening on 11th November, a co-production with Hull Truck.

A new arena production of Verdi's Aida, directed by Stephen Medcalf, will play at the Royal Albert Hall from 23rd February to 11th March next year. Unlike previous arena productions it will be sung in the original Italian. The producer is Raymond Gubbay.

A Choreographer's Handbook by Jonathan Burrows, published by Routledge, invites the reader to investigate how and why to make a dance performance. Dancer, choreographer and teacher Jonathan Burrows explains how it is possible to navigate a course through this complex process in a sequence of stories, ideas and paradoxes. It is a reflection on a personal practice and professional journey, and draws upon five years' of workshop discussions, led by Burrows. He gives the reader access to a range of exercises, meditations, principles and ideas on choreography that allow artists and dance makers to find their own aesthetic process. This is a book for anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.

This year's season at Grange Park Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', runs from 2nd June to 4th July. It comprises Verdi's Rigoletteo, directed by Daniel Slater; Wagner's Tristan And Isolde, directed by David Fielding; and Dvorak's Rusalka, directed by Antony McDonald. In addition there are performances of Puccini's Tosca, directed by Antony McDonald, at Neville Holt, from 6th to 12th July. In order to accommodate a dinner interval, entry is from 3.30pm, with performances beginning at 5.20pm. Further information can be found on the GPO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

This year's Pitlochry Festival Theatre 60th anniversary season will include: the musical My Fair Lady, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the story of the transformation of a flower seller into a lady by an eccentric phonetics professor, from 13th May; Alan Ayckbourn's Henceforward, a futuristic comedy featuring a domestic robot, from 19th May; Philip King's See How They Run, the clerical farce set during the Second World War, from 26th May; Arthur Wing Pinero's Trelawney Of The Wells, the comedy in which an actress attempts to retire from the stage and join polite society, from 2nd June; the musical comedy Privates On Parade, book and lyrics by Peter Nichols, music by Denis King, set in a British army entertainment unit during the Malayan Emergency, from 14th July; and James Bridie's Dr Angelus, part thriller, part black comedy, in a medical practice in 1920s Glasgow, from August 17th. Once the repertoire is complete Pitlochry offers visitors the unique opportunity to 'stay 6 days and see 6 plays'.