News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd March 2007

Physical theatre company Peepolykus's production of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Hound Of The Baskervilles, adapted by Steven Canny, directed by Orla O'Loughlin, which has just completed a tour, will transfer to the Duchess Theatre, opening on 17th April. The tale of a mysterious death involving an ancient family curse and a demonic dog is performed by just 3 actors, Jason Thorpe, Javier Marzan and John Nicholson, who play 20 characters between them, in similar style to the current production of The 39 Steps. The show, which originally opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, will be presented by Neal Street Productions and CMP Limited.

The summer season at Hampstead Theatre will comprise Dennis Kelly's Taking Care Of Baby, about a mother convicted of the murder of her two infant children, directed by Anthony Clark, opening on 4th June, a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Nell Leyshon's Glass Eels, in which a young girl's sexual awakening is coloured by shadows of her early childhood, directed by Lucy Bailey, opening on 9th July, a co-production with The Brewhouse Theatre, Somerset; and Richard Bean's In The Club, a political farce set in the European Parliament, directed by David Grindley, opening on 30th July. At Christmas, Anthony Clark will direct his own adaptation of Ian Whybrow's children's book Little Wolf's Book Of Badness, with music by Conor Linehan, in which a well behaved young wolf is sent to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness, playing daytime performances from 6th December.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Sheffield Theatres production of the musical Fiddler On The Roof, book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, featuring Henry Goodman, Beverley Klein, Julie Legrand and Victor McGuire with Juliet Alderdice, Natasha Broomfield, Tommy Coles, Steve Fortune, Damian Humbley, Gareth Kennerley, Vincent Pirillo, Alex Ruocco, Alexandra Silber and Frances Thorburn, directed by Lindsay Posner, with choreography by Kate Flatt, will transfer to the Savoy Theatre, opening on 29th May. The show tells the story of a milkman and his family in a rural Russian village during the turbulent times at the turn of the 20th century. It will be presented by Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions and Bulldog Theatrical.

Opera North opens its spring tour at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on 21st April, which continues until 7th July. It features new productions of Janacek's Katya Kabanova, with Giselle Allen, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Sally Burgess, Peter Wedd, John Graham Hall, Ashley Catling and Stephen Richardson, directed by Tim Albery; and a double bill of Stravinsky's Les Noces and Purcell's Dido And Aeneas, directed and choreographed by Aletta Collins; together with Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Tim Supple; and Verdi's Rigoletto, directed by Charles Edwards.

On The Casting Couch: Sian Reeves will be joined by newcomer Colin Morgan in Tanya Ronder's adaptation of DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little, opening at the Young Vic on 2nd May; Ben Miles, Lia Williams and Sara Kestelman will star in Mike Bartlett's My Child, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 9th May; Tony Armatrading, Lenora Crichlow, Jenny Jules, Novella Nelson and Danny Sapani will head a company of 16 in Theodore Ward's Big White Fog, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 17th May; and Rory Kinnear, Ruth Wilson will be joined by Duncan Bell, Phil Davis, Conleth Hill and Justine Mitchell in Maxim Gorky's Philistines, opening at the National Theatre on 30th May.

Sequins And Sawdust, in which 25 performers tell the life story of an ageing clown, through circus skills, live music, physical theatre and comedy, will be performed in a big top on Upper Ground, opposite the rear of the National Theatre, from 16th to 21st April. It is a collaboration between Cirque Bijou, The Circus Space and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, directed by Jon Beedell, and produced by Billy Alwen, Tim Roberts and Paul Rummer.

Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre, in association with Arts Council England, are inviting further applications for a New Producer's Bursary. The bursaries are intended to support individuals in progressing their careers as theatre producers. Successful applicants will be able to use the bursary to develop and/or present a new production, or to support themselves while being an intern at an approved producer's office. In addition to a broad package of financial assistance of up to 15,000 per applicant, the scheme also provides the benefit of an established industry figure as a mentor for the project, and possibly shared office accommodation in Central London. The closing date for this round of applications is 19th April. Further information and an application form can be found on the Stage One web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Director-choreographer Matthew Bourne's The Car Man, loosely based on the opera Carmen, but relocating the story to a rural garage and diner in 1960s America as a handsome stranger arrives, will now launch its national tour at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on 18th June, prior to visiting Sadler's Wells from 11th July. In the leading roles it will feature Alan Vincent, alternating with James Leece and Adam Galbraith, opposite Gemma Payne, alternating with Ebony Molina and Michela Meazza.

Harriet Walter will appear in Fallujah, a docu-drama installation about the siege of Fallujah in Iraq in 2003, based on news reports, official US government statements, and personal testimony, to be staged at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane from 3rd May to 2nd June. It is a collaboration between writer Jonathan Holmes, composer Nitin Sawhney and artist Lucy Orta, which will be presented in association with the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Ilium Productions.

Chris Bartlett and Nick Awde's Pete And Dud - Come Again, which reviews the comedy partnership of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore from Moore's perspective, with Gareth Tunley and Simon Lowe, directed by Owen Lewis, opens a regional tour at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 12th April.

The Rumour Machine says: that Kenneth Cranham and Rosamund Pike will star in Patrick Hamilton's psychological thriller Gaslight, about a wealthy woman being manipulated by a man trying to steal her gems, directed by Peter Gill, opening at the Old Vic in June; that the new production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with the leading role cast from a 'reality' television programme, will open at the Adelphi Theatre; and that the Broadway hit Jersey Boys, a bio-musical about the '60s group the Four Seasons, will make its West End debut at the Prince Edward Theatre next March. The Rumour Machine grinds on.