News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 22nd February 2002

Celebrating its first birthday, the Arcola Theatre has returned to its roots as a garment factory, to present the musical I Can Get It For You Wholesale until 23rd March, directed by Mehmet Ergen and William Galinsky. With book by Jerome Weidman based on his novel, and music and lyrics by Harold Rome, it tells the story of an unscrupulous businessman in the sweatshops of New York in the 1920s. The original production in 1962 was Barbra Streisand's Broadway debut. This will be followed by Anna Zapparoli in her Edinburgh Fringe cabaret hit 1933 And All That, celebrating the work of German emigre composers and lyricists, from 26th March to 27th April, and Jack Shepherd as Macbeth from 30th April to 1st June. Further information can be found on the Arcola Theatre web site via the link from the London Venues section of TheatreNet.

In a regional theatre coup, Imogen Stubbs is to star in Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Nuffield Theatre Southampton from 11th April to 11th May, directed by Patrick Sandford.

Graeae Theatre Company's latest production, Peeling by Katie O'Reilly, directed by Jenny Sealey, will play at the Soho Theatre from 3rd to 13th April, as part of a national tour. Lisa Hammond, Caroline Parker and Sophie Partridge play actresses in ridiculous dresses that bicker, chat, heckle and share tales of sex, lies and recipes, as darkly comic and devastating truths are uncovered. The production weaves in captions, audio description and sign language as part of its storytelling method.

The Generating Company, the descendent of the Millennium Dome show, returns to Circus Space with a new acrobatic spectacular Gangstars, from 5th to 14th April, prior to a 22 date UK wide tour. The show is set in prohibition era America, and recounts the story of an innocent immigrant's introduction to the milieu. It features a company of ten gymnastic performers, directed by Sean Kempton, with music by Akintayo Akinbode, and designs by Mark Fisher.

Following Cameron Mackintosh's Hey! Mr Producer, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th Birthday Concert events, Tim Rice is going one better with The Night Of 1000 Voices at the Royal Albert Hall on 5th May. Those taking part (subject to the traditional provisos covering better offers) will include Ruthie Henshall, Maria Friedman, David Essex and Lauren Kennedy, plus various choirs, and composer Alan Menken. They will perform numbers from the Rice songbook with his many composer partners, including the Broadway show Aida which is yet to be seen in London. Rice will host the event, which is a fundraiser for The Lord's Taverners.

Harold Brighouse's comedy Hobson's Choice is currently opening a regional tour at the west country hit factory of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, featuring Tony Britton, Michael Begley, Katherine Rogers and Gaye Brown. Set in Victorian Salford, it tells the story of a forthright boot shop owner's efforts to control his three daughters, one of whom wants to make an 'unsuitable' marriage to his shop assistant. Jonathan Church directs the co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which is presented on tour by the Touring Consortium.

STAR - the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, is organising a one day seminar on Ticketing and Data Security in the Entertainment Industry at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 11th March. Topics covered will include data security and anti fraud initiatives, thr Data Protection Act, and data exploitation. Speakers will include Richard Pulford, new chief executive of the Society Of London Theatre and Theatre Management Association, Steve Riley, research and development director at Ticketmaster, D Micheal Rose, senior entertainment law partner at Tarlo Lyons, and Roger Tomlinson, independent consultant. For further information and registration contact Don Keller Arts Marketing on 020 8800 4882.

BITE:02, this year's Barbican International Theatre Event, will include the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with a world and other UK premieres; Woyzeck, directed and designed by Robert Wilson, with music and lyrics by Tom Waite; South African choreographer Robyn Orlin making her British debut; Heiner Goebbels music theatre piece Hashirigaki; the return of choreographer Deborah Colker with Casa; the UK premiere of Steve Reich's Three Tales; and School For Fools by Theatr Formany.

The South African classic Wozza Albert!, starring Siyabonga Twala and Jones Mfanahlope, opens a UK regional tour at Nottingham Playhouse from 13th to 16th March. An imagined Second Coming is portrayed in a series of character sketches that zig-zag through the stark contrasts of every day life in South Africa under the rule of apartheid.

Adele Anderson, Gavin Lee and Jessica Martin star in Lets Kick Arts!, an original revue devised by Tony Chalmers, at the Bridewell Theatre, from 15th March to 6th April. The show is directed by Don Leaver and produced by Rex Berry and Richard Jordan. From 19th March it will be joined in a double bill by Linzi Hateley in the London premiere of Charles Hart's Love Songs.

The Rumour Machine says: that the previously mentioned production of Macbeth, starring Sean Bean and directed by Edward Hall, will be playing at the Strand Theatre from 24th April; that the National Theatre is in negotiations for the stage rights to Philip Pullman's children's trilogy His Dark Materials, with a view to Nicholas Hytner directing, next year, possibly at Christmas; that the previously mentioned revival of Denise Deegan's Daisy Pulls It Off, directed by David Gilmore, scheduled to open on 29th April, will be at the Lyric Theatre; and that Madonna may make her West End debut playing a psychiatrist who analyses a young women in Frederick Wheeler's Deceptions. The Rumour Machine grinds on.