News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 22nd July 2011

Ariel Dorfman's Death And The Maiden, about a woman who kidnaps and holds prisoner a man she believes tortured her 15 years earlier, with Thandie Newton, directed by Jeremy Herrin, will open at the Comedy Theatre on 24th October. The producers are Creative Management and Productions and Lyndi Adler.

Tobias Menzies, Lia Williams, Charlotte Randle, Jonathan Bonnici, Leila Crerar, Kevin Harvey, Tom Hodgkins, Samuel James, Arinze Kene, Amy Lennox, Claire Prempeh and Cat Simmons will comprise the cast of Decade, by Christopher Shinn, Lynn Nottage, John Logan, Samuel Adamson, Mike Bartlett, Alecky Blythe, Abi Morgan and Simon Schama, examining responses to the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Centre on 11th September 2001, conceived, developed and directed by Rupert Goold and Robert Icke, with choreography by Scott Ambler, a site specific project staged in a disused office building in St Katharine Docks, the former site of London's World Trade Centre, opening on 8th September.

The autumn season at the Theatre Royal Stratford East will include Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, set in a dystopian near future, in a new adaptation using contemporary language by Ed DuRante, and music by Fred Carl, with the auditorium converted into a traverse stage for the first time, directed by Dawn Reid, from 3rd September; Shalom Baby, written and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, set in 1930s Berlin and modern day Brooklyn, telling the story of black victims of the Holocaust, from 20th October; last year's Edinburgh Fringe hit Roadkill, conceived and directed by Cora Bissett, text by Stef Smith, about the harsh realities of sex trafficking, from 28th October; and the return of Trish Cooke and Robert Hyman's version of Cinderella, from 3rd December.

New York TheatreNet: Rebecca, the musical adaptation of the novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a man brings his second wife to the house where the shadow of his first wife still remains, original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton, probably featuring Sierra Boggess, directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, will open on Broadway at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced on 22nd April. 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 Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester will include Christopher Marlowe's Edward II, directed by Toby Frow, opening in 12th September; C P Taylor's Good, an exploration of how personal morality can be twisted and drawn to a sinister and diabolical cause, directed by Polly Findlay, opening on 17th October; Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing, combing fantasy and reality in a story of gay sexual awakening amongst the underclass, directed by Sarah Frankcom, opening on 14th November; and George S Kaufman and Moss Hart's You Can't Take It With You, a madcap comedy in which the offspring of two families of different philosophies fall in love, and mayhem ensues, directed by Paul Hunter, opening on 19th December.

On The Casting Couch: and Emma Pierson and Phil Daniels will head the cast of Chris Hannan's The God Of Soho, opening at Shakespeare's Globe on 1st September; Marc Warren will be joined by Lee Boardman, Lisa Eichhorn, Rob Falconer, Joshua McCord, Nathan Osgood, Tom Silburn, David Sturzaker, Richard Brake and Kenneth Jay in Emma Reeves's adaptation of Cool Hand Luke, opening at the Aldwych Theatre on 3rd October; and Douglas Hodge will be joined by Karen Gillan, Esther Hall, Amy Morgan, Daniel Ryan and Al Weaver in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 13th October.

The publishers Bloomsbury and Faber & Faber are working together on setting up Drama Online, an online digital archive giving access to more than 2,000 years of drama, which will launch in October next year. The site will offer access to digital versions of plays ranging from Greek drama through Shakespeare, Chekhov and Ibsen, to modern works from Caryl Churchill, Polly Stenham and Alan Ayckbourn. Alongside the works themselves, the service will offer critical analysis and contextual information, including the ability to search by text, genre, period, authors and themes. The service will be sold via subscription and perpetual access to academic institutions.

The autumn season at the York Theatre Royal will include J M Barrie's Peter Pan, in a new adaptation by Mike Kenny, directed by Damian Cruden, from 29th July; Alan Bennett's 40 Years On, a state of the nation comedy set around an end of tern play in a Public School after the First World War, directed by Damian Cruden, from 23rd September; Tom McGrath's Laurel & Hardy, a comedy with music featuring some of the legendary routines and songs of the film double act, directed by Damian Cruden, from 21st October; and The York Family Robinson, a pantomime adventure, written, directed by and featuring Berwick Kaler, from 15th December.

Stage One, by arrangement with The Society Of London Theatre, is holding another Workshop For New Producers from 27th to 29th October. This is an intensive course for anyone planning to produce or co-produce in theatre. The aim is to provide detailed information on how to set up a production at a regional theatre and bring it into the West End, for those who have not previously produced commercial plays, or have only limited experience, but possess a firm commitment to a career in theatre production. It will be conducted by leading theatre practitioners led by production doyenne Andrew Treagus. Sessions will include: acquiring rights, budgeting, co-producing, booking a tour, finding and contracting a theatre, marketing, publicity and press. The closing date for applications is 16th August. Further information and an application form can be found on the SO web site via link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Gill Adams's Keeler, based on Christine Keeler's autobiography telling her version of the Profumo affair of the early 1960s, involving the model, a cabinet minister and a Russian spy, with Alice Coulthard and Paul Nicholas, will open a regional tour at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking on 15th September.

The autumn season at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond will include the British premiere of Vaclav Havel's The Conspirators, translated by Tomas Rychetsky and Carol Rocamora, about the attempts to form a government in the aftermath of a revolution, from 31st August; How To Be Happy, written and directed by David Lewis, about a former happiness guru who finds that all aspects of his life have collapsed, from 5th October; James Saunders's Next Time I'll Sing To You, in which an investigation into the life of a hermit leads to an examination of the purpose of life, directed by Anthony Clark, from 9th November; and St John Hankin's The Charity That Began At Home, an Edwardian comedy about an aristocrat's attempts at offering charity by inviting the needy to dinner, directed by Auriol Smith, from 14th December.