News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd July 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Chichester Festival Theatre production of the musical Love Story, book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, music and lyrics by Howard Goodall, adapted from Erich Segal's novel about college students who fall in love despite their different backgrounds, with Emma Williams and Michael Xavier, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, will transfer to the Duchess Theatre, opening on 6th December. The producers are Michael Ball, Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley-Cohen.

Prior to this, the Gate Theatre Dublin production of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, in which an old man is listening to a series of tapes he has recorded detailing events in his life, performed by Michael Gambon, directed by Michael Colgan, will transfer to the Duchess Theatre in September.

Forthcoming productions at the Jermyn Street Theatre will include the premiere of If So, Then Yes, the first new play in over 30 years by absurdist playwright N F Simpson, charting the constantly interrupted attempts of a writer, living in a retirement home, to dictate his autobiography, directed by Simon Usher, opening on 9th September; and Black Bread & Cucumber, written and performed by Caroline Blakiston, about her experiences as the first British actress to play Chekhov in Russia, in Russian, in 1992, from 5th October.

Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, in which a woman's attempt to ruin a politician's career by producing incriminating evidence about his past is thwarted by the faithfulness and forgiveness of his wife, with Alex Hanson, Rachael Stirling, Samantha Bond, Elliot Cowan, Charles Kay and Fiona Button, directed by Lindsay Posner, will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 10th November. The producer is Stanhope Productions.

Prior to this, Australian comedian Caroline Reid will perform Pam Ann - Flying High, featuring her 1960s air hostess character at the Vaudeville Theatre from 29th September to 10th October.

The autumn season Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond will comprise Arthur Wing Pinero's The Thunderbolt, in which a family feud ensues when a wealthy man dies leaving no will, but illegitimate daughter, with David Antrobus, Vincent Brimble, Osmund Bullock, Stuart Fox, James Joyce, Geoff Leesley, David Whitworth, Grainne Keenan, Brenda Longman, Natalie Ogle, Janet Spencer-Turner and Julie Teal, directed by Sam Walters, from 1st September; Torben Betts's The Company Man, where a man finds retirement does not bring contentment for himself or his soul searching wife, directed by Adam Barnard, from 6th October; Hungry Ghosts, written and directed by Tim Luscombe, in which a racing driver on the eve of the Shanghai Grand Prix, becomes involved in human rights and Chinese politics, from 10th November; and Alfred Hennequin and Alfred Delacour's Once Bitten, translated and adapted by Reggie Oliver, a farce involving a lawyer, his household, and his clients, directed by Sam Walters, from 15th December.

New York TheatreNet: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 22nd Festival of New Musicals, featuring staged readings of 8 new works, to be held on 21st and 22nd October. They include Lizzie Borden, book, lyrics and additional music by Tim Maner, music and lyrics by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, music by Alan Stevens Hewitt, a rock show revealing why the double murderer took up the axe, and how she became an American folk hero. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 230 musicals and 420 writers, and 80% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

On The Casting Couch: Amanda Drew, Michael Landes, Nancy Carroll, Trevor Cooper and Dermot Crowley will comprise the cast of Richard Bean's stage adaptation of David Mamet's House Of Games, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 16th September; and Derek Jacobi will be joined by Gina McKee, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Justine Mitchell, Ron Cook, Michael Hadley and Paul Jesson in King Lear, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 7th December.

The autumn season at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston will include in Studio 1: the premiere of David Watson's Pieces Of Vincent, a miniature epic about love, passion and violence in contemporary Britain, in a staging merging film and live action, directed by Clare Lizzimore, opening on 6th September, a co-production by Arcola Theatre and Pieces Productions; and Martin Crimp's The Country, in which a couple's rustic idyll is shattered one night by the discovery of an unconscious stranger, directed by Amelia Nicholson, opening on 30th September, a co-production by Arcola Theatre and Iceni; and in Studio 2: the premiere of Snoo Wilson's Reclining Nude With Black Stockings, about the trial of the painter Egon Schiele, for allegedly seducing his 13 year old model, directed by Alexander Gilmour, from 7th September, a Lone Wolf production; and Judith Thompson's Palace Of The End, which offers insights and opinions on the War on Terror by a young, female soldier, a weapons scientist, and a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime, directed by Jessica Swale, from 20th October, a Red Handed Theatre Company production.

Hit Me! The Life And Rhymes Of Ian Dury, a bioplay with music about the cheeky chappie cockney writer and performer, written and directed by Jeff Merrifield, with Mark White and Josh Darcy, will open a national tour at the Guilded Balloon during the Edinburgh Fringe, which will include performances at the Garrick Theatre from 9th to 11th September. The producers are Seabright Productions, Irving Rappaport and Playback Arts.