News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd March 2012

Self styled 'psychological illusionist' Derren Brown will bring his stage show Svengali, written by Brown, Iain Sharkey and Stephen Long, directed by Polly Findlay, back to the West End, playing at the Novello Theatre from 12th July to 11th August. The producers are Michael Vine, Andrew O'Connor and Corrie McGuire.

Ladies In Lavender, adapted by Shaun McKenna from the 2004 film, screenplay by Charles Dance, based on the short story by William J Locke, the tale of two sisters living in a fishing village in Cornwall in 1936, whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of mysterious young man, with Hayley Mills, Belinda Lang, Robert Duncan, Carol Macready, Abigail Thaw and Robert Rees, directed by Robin Lefevre, will open a national tour at Royal Theatre Northampton on 6th April. It is a co-production with Daniel Schumann and Lee Dean in association with Charles Diamond.

The National Theatre of Scotland and the London Review of Books are collaborating to create Enquirer, in response to the crisis in newspaper journalism in the Britain, based on interviews conducted by journalists Paul Flynn, Deborah Orr and Ruth Wishart with approximately 50 people working in the newspaper industry, directed and edited by Vicky Featherstone and John Tiffany, with additional editing by novelist and journalist Andrew O'Hagan, in a site specific promenade production in an empty floor of a media office block in Glasgow from 26th April, transferring to London in October.

The O2 Arena will host its first ever pantomime, in a purpose-built 1,900 seater proscenium arch theatre, with Lily Savage reprising her performance as Widow Twankey in the Mayflower Theatre Southampton production of Aladdin, from 7th December to 5th January. The producer is Michael Rose.

New York TheatreNet: The previously postponed musical Rebecca, adapted from 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, directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, with choreography by Graciela Daniele, will open as previously planned at the Broadhurst Theatre in the autumn. The originally announced cast was headed by Sierra Boggess, Tam Mutu and Karen Mason. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The current West End production of Graham Linehan's stage adaptation of The Ladykillers, the legendary 1950s Ealing comedy film about a criminal gang posing as musicians in the house of a dotty old lady, directed by Sean Foley, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on 14th September. The producers are Fiery Angel in association with Stage Entertainment UK, Olympus Theatricals, Jason Heigh-Ellery and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse.

Ian Marshall Fisher's Lost Musicals series, presenting neglected shows by great American Broadway theatre writers, in semi-staged performances by West End regulars on Sunday afternoons at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, has announced its 2012 season. Flahooley, book by Fred Saidy, music by Sammy Fain, lyrics and book by E Y Harburg, a satirical, allegorical fairytale about a genie, a magic lamp and a doll maker, will play from 13th May to 3rd June; and Aladdin, book by S J Perelman, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, will play from 19th August to 2nd September. All performances are preceded by an introductory talk from a guest speaker.

Forthcoming productions at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court will include Daniel MacIvor's His Greatness, the story of a playwright at the end of his career, grappling with the loss of his former glory and desperate for a return to success, directed by Che Walker, opening on 27th April, produced by Rigden Entertainment, Adam Blanshay, Natalie Macaluso and Ken Denison; John McGrath's Events While Guarding The Bofurs Gun, about a disillusioned group of British soldiers in Germany in the 1950s, directed by Robert Hastie, opening on 24th May, produced by Tarves Productions; and Michael Healey's The Drawing Boy, in which a writer in search of material in rural Canada has a life changing effect on the people he meets, directed by Eleanor Rhode, opening on 21st June, produced by Snapdragon Productions and Nicola Seed.

On The Casting Couch: Sally Dexter, Forbes Masson and Brian Protheroe will head the cast of C S Lewis's The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, in the 360 degree video tent in Kensington Gardens from 8th May; Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths will be joined by Rebecca Blackstone, Nick Blakeley, Peter Cadden, Johnnie Fiori, Adam Levy and William Maxwell in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, opening at the Savoy Theatre on 17th May; and Hannah Waddingham, Adam Garcia, Clive Rowe and David Burt will head the cast of the Cole Porter-Sam and Bella Spewack musical Kiss Me, Kate, opening at Chichester Festival Theatre on 27th June.

Forthcoming productions at Southwark Playhouse, at London Bridge, will include Bernard-Marie Koltes's Black Battles With Dogs, translated by David Bradby and Maria M Delgado, in which the arrival of a mysterious man at an isolated African construction site to retrieve the body of his dead brother leads to a disturbing twist of events, directed by Alexander Zeldin, from 11th April, produced by Independent Productions; Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, the story of three men held hostage a cellar in the Lebanon, with Billy Carter, Robin Soans and Joseph Timms, directed by Jessica Swale, from 18th April, produced by Peter Huntley Productions and Red Handed Theatre Company; Eugene O'Neil's The Hairy Ape, the story of a brutish and unthinking laborer as he searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the rich, directed by Kate Budgen, from 16th May, produced by Cartwright Productions and Creature of London; and Philip Ridley's Tender Napalm, an explosive and poetic exploration of love in the face of catastrophe, directed by David Mercatali, from 11th June, produced by Supporting Walls.

Slava's Snowshow, Russian clown Slava Polunin's wordless show that sees a group of clowns overcoming various physical obstacles, culminating in the coup de theatre of a blizzard, will return to the Royal Festival Hall from 17th December to 7th January. The producers are Mark Goucher, Matthew Gale and Jenny King by arrangement with Slava and Gwenael Allan.