News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 22nd June 2012

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, the story of a boy who wins the chance to visit the mysterious Willy Wonka's idiosyncratic sweet manufacturing plant, book by David Greig, music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman, directed by Sam Mendes, with choreography by Peter Darling, will open at the London Palladium next June. The producers are Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick.

The autumn season at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn will include the premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti's Red Velvet, based on the incident at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1833 when Edmund Kean collapsed on stage whilst playing Othello, and a young black American actor was asked to take over the role, with Adrian Lester, directed Indhu Rubasingham, from 11th October; Mary Zimmerman's The Arabian Nights, adapted from The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, directed by Lu Kemp, from 30th November; Don Evans's One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, where a respected middle class Black family in 1970's Philadelphia find their life turned on its head by the arrival of a young niece and her radical ideas from the rural South, directed by Dawn Walton, from 16th January, an Eclipse Theatre production; and the premiere of Philip Himberg's Paper Dolls, adapted from the documentary film by Tomer Heymann, about Filipino immigrants working as carers in Tel Aviv who perform a musical drag act on their day off, directed Indhu Rubasingham, from 28th February.

The All Star Productions production of the musical Flora The Red Menace, book by David Thomson, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, based on the novel Love Is Just Around The Corner by Lester Atwell, originally adapted for the stage by George Abbot, with Katy Baker, directed by Randy Smartnick, will play at the Landor Theatre, in Clapham, from 26th June. It tells the story of a young fashion illustrator in 1920s New York, who falls in love with a radical artist and joins the Communist party - but her enthusiasm proves too much for their liking,

New York TheatreNet: David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, set in the cut-throat world of Florida real estate salesmen, with Al Pacino, directed by Daniel Sullivan, will open at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on 11th November; and The Anarchist, written and directed by David Mamet, about the governor of a women's prison and a lifer who is trying to convince her that she is ready for parole, with Patti LuPone and Debra Winger, will receive its premiere at the Lyceum Theatre on 2nd December. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The autumn season at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre will include the premieres of Euripides's Medea, the story of a woman who avenges her husband's betrayal by killing their children, in a version written and directed by Mike Bartlett, opening on 30th September, a co-production with Headlong Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre, in association with Warwick Arts Centre; Glasgow Girls The Musical, conceived and directed by Cora Bissett, book by David Greig, score by Cora Bissett, MC Soom T, Patricia Panther and John Kielty, based on a true story of teenage asylum seekers, opening on 2nd November, a co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland and Theatre Royal Stratford East; and Donna Franceschild's adaptation of her television series Takin' Over The Asylum, about the relationship that develops between a washed up DJ on a psychiatric hospital radio station and the patients, directed by Mark Thomson, opening on 17th February, a co-production with the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh; plus Rufus Norris's 'gleefully gruesome' version of Sleeping Beauty, directed by Dominic Hill, opening on 2nd December.

Forever Crazy, featuring dancers from the Crazy Horse cabaret Paris, will play in the 1920s Spiegeltent, the Belgium originated portable performance venue with mirrors lining the interior walls, located in Jubilee Gardens, between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye, from 18th September to 24th December. It will be presented by Harvey Goldsmith.

The autumn season at Salisbury Playhouse will include Richard Harris's Stepping Out, the comedy telling the story of a disperate group of participants in a weekly dance class at a church hall, directed by Adam Penford, with choreography by Andrew Wright, from 6th September; the premiere of William Golding's The Spire, adapted by Roger Spottiswoode, the story of the man who built the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, directed by Gareth Machin, from 1st November; and Sleeping Beauty, book and lyrics by Andrew Pollard, music and lyrics by Kieran Buckeridge, directed by Joyce Branagh, with choreography by Maggie Rawlinson, from 5th December

Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, in a new adaptation by Jo Clifford, with Jack Ellis, Chris Ellison, Paul Nivison and Paula Wilcox, directed by Graham McLaren, will open a prospective pre London tour at Richmond Theatre on 13th September. The producers are Beckman Unicorn and Satis House Productions.

The autumn season at Sheffield Theatres will include in the Crucible, Shakespeare's Macbeth, with Geoffrey Streatfeild and Claudie Blakley, directed by Daniel Evans, from 5th September; Shelagh Delaney's A Taste Of Honey, the only 'angry young woman' play, presenting a slice of working class life in Salford, in the changing times of the late 1950s, directed by Polly Findlay, from 25th October; and the musical My Fair Lady, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, in which a phonetics professor attempts to turn a Covent Garden flower seller as a 'lady', directed by Daniel Evans, from 12th December; and in the Studio, Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike, a darkly comic look at fantasy and romance with a couple whose relationship has lost its spark, directed by Jonathan Humphreys, from 13th September; and the premiere of D C Moore's Straight, a comedy exploring male friendship and sexuality, directed by Richard Wilson, from 1st November.

The Rumour Machine says: that Chichester Festival Theatre is aiming to stage the Mark Bramble-Cy Coleman-Michael Stewart circus musical Barnum, about the American showman P T Barnumin, in a 1,400 seater tent next summer while the theatre undergoes a 22m redevelopment project; and that Frank Marcus's The Killing Of Sister George, about an actress whose character in a long running soap opera is killed off, in a revised version by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by and starring Kathleen Turner, which will premiere at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven in November, has an Off Broadway transfer in mind. The Rumour Machine grinds on.