News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st September 2012

Peter Morgan's The Audience, which charts the Queen's relationships with her 12 Prime Ministers through their weekly meetings, with Helen Mirren, directed by Stephen Daldry, will open at the Gielgud Theatre on 5th March. The producers are Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox and Andy Harries.

Anton Chekov's The Seagull, which relates the romantic entanglements and regrets of a group of actors, writers and artists gathered on a Russian estate, in a new contemporary version by Anya Reiss, with Matthew Kelly, directed by Russell Bolam, will open at Southwark Playhouse, at London Bridge, on 12th November. The producers are Jagged Fence, Fenella Dawnay and Southwark Playhouse.

The 2012/2013 season at the Bush Theatre will include the Sheffield Theatres production of D C Moore's Straight, adapted from the film Humpday, about the reunion of two university friends, who make a bet that will change their relationship, with Philip McGinley, Henry Pettigrew, Jenny Rainsford and Jessica Ransom, directed by Richard Wilson, opening on 27th November; Money The Game Show, written and directed by Clare Duffy, which looks at the effect of the financial crisis on two hedge fund managers-turned-performance artists, with Lucy Ellison and Brian Ferguson, opening on 6th February, a co-production with Unlimited Theatre; and the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester production of Janice Okoh's Three Birds, a darkly comic drama about childhood, family and fantasy involving two siblings who are left home alone, directed by Sarah Frankcom, opening on 22nd March.

New York TheatreNet: The Public Theater will stage the premiere of the musical Fun Home, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori, adapted from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir about her relationship with her father in the family funeral home, with Judy Kuhn, Roberta Colindrez, Beth Malone and Joel Perez, directed by Sam Gold, with choreography by David Neumann, from 17th October. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

St John's, Smith Square, in Westminster, will stage its first children's Christmas show, Jack Frost's White Christmas, book by Rachel Barnett, music by Jeff Moore, in which Jack Frost's son and Father Christmas's daughter set out on an Arctic adventure to bring snow back to the North Pole, from 27th December to 6th January.

Forthcoming productions by Birmingham Repertory Theatre will include Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows, adapted by Alan Bennett, music and lyrics by Jeremy Sands, at the Crescent Theatre from 28th November; the premiere of Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat!, a mixture of fairytale and real life, adapted and directed by Tereso Ludovico, in an English translation by David Watson, at the Old Rep Theatre, from 12th February, a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Teatro Kismet; and the premiere of Robin French's Heather Gardner, relocating the story of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, to the 1960s, at the Old Rep Theatre, from 14th March.

Feast, written by playwrights from 5 countries, Yunior Garcia Aguilera, Rotimi Babatunde, Marcos Barbosa, Tanya Barfield and Gbolahan Obises, about Yoruba culture, tradition and religion as it moved through slavery from West Africa to the Americas and Europe, from Nigeria in the 1700s through Brazil, Cuba and United States to London in 2013, directed by Rufus Norris, with choreography by George Cespedes, will open at the Young Vic Theatre on 1st February.

The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, written and directed by Jim Cartwright, about a mousey girl who lives through impersonating singers such as Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey, with Beverley Callard, Ray Quinn, Joe McGann, Jess Robinson, Duggie Brown and Sally Plumb, has just opened a national tour.

The exhibition The Making Of Timon, running until 21st October, follows the making of the National Theatre's new production of Timon Of Athens from early designs to opening night, and also offers a glimpse of the turbulent world of Shakespeare's play. Original designs, backstage and rehearsal photography, plans and drawings open up the production's journey from page to stage, while artefacts from Jacobean London reveal the world in which the play was written.

The autumn season at the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme will include D H Lawrence's The Widowing Of Mrs Holroyd, a picture of the final days of a tempestuous marriage and a vivid portrait of life in a Midlands mining village, directed by Fiona Buffini from 28th September; and Charles Dickens's A Christman Carol, adapted and directed by Theresa Heskins, from 17th November.

Little Charley Bear And His Christmas Adventure, featuring the CBeebies television character, will play daytime performances at the Ambassadors Theatre, from 5th to 24th December. The producer is Sally Humphreys Productions.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Once, adapted from John Carney's 2006 film about a struggling Irish street musician who makes music with an Eastern European immigrant, book by Enda Walsh, score by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, directed by John Tiffany, with musical staging by Steven Hoggett, will transfer to London, opening at the Phoenix Theatre in March; and that Renee Zellweger may make her Broadway debut in Anthony Tambakis's stage adaptation of Walter Tevis's novel The Hustler, about an ambitious pool shark and the doomed woman who loves him, to be directed by Gavin O'Connor. The Rumour Machine grinds on.