News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd October 2009

The previously mentioned Theatre Royal Bath production of Noel Coward's Private Lives, about a divorced couple who, finding themselves honeymooning with new partners in adjoining suites in the south of France, also find that their relationship is actually not over, with Kim Cattral and Matthew Macfadyen, directed by Richard Eyre, will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 3rd March. Duncan Weldon and Sonia Friedman are co-producers.

The Royal Court Theatre has announced its spring season, which will include Bola Agbaje's Off The Endz, about three young people from a London estate struggling to find the right path in life amid debts and temptations, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opening on 16th February; Laura Wade's Posh, about the members of a 'Bullingdon style' club, directed by Lyndsey Turner, opening on 15th April; and Roy Williams's Sucker Punch, set in the world of boxing, examining what it was like to be young and black in the 1980s, directed by Sacha Wares, opening on 18th June

Oscar Wilde's Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, adapted by Trevor Baxter, with Lee Mead, Gary Wilmot, Kate O'Mara, David Ross and Derren Nesbitt, directed by Christopher Luscombe, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, on 11th January. When a young man is told by a clairvoyant that he is destined to commit a murder, he decides the deed must be done before he marries, but as he searches for a convenient person to sacrifice, chaos ensues. The producer is Bill Kenwright.

The spring season at the Almeida Theatre in Islington will comprise the European premiere of Lynn Nottage's Off Broadway hit Ruined, about the women in a brothel in a war torn African country (inspired by Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage), with Jenny Jules and Lucian Msamati, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, opening in 22nd April; and the world premiere of Andrew Upton's stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's 1961 film Through A Glass Darkly, about a woman on a recuperative holiday with the three most important men in her life, who decides to take control of her own destiny, directed by Michael Attenborough, opening on 16th June. The Almeida's forthcoming productions of Patrick Hamilton's Rope, opening on 16th December, will feature Bertie Carvel, Emma Dewhurst, Michael Elwyn, Henry Lloyd Hughes, Blake Ritson, Alex Waldmann and Phoebe Waller-Bridge; and Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, opening 18th February will feature Rory Kinnear, Anna Maxwell Martin, Ben Miles, David Annen, Daisy Boulton, Flaminia Cinque, Trevor Cooper, Emun Elliot, David Killick, Victoria Lloyd, Jessica Tomchak and Tony Turner.

New York TheatreNet: The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Jim Dale, John McMartin and Lynn Redgrave, producers Roger Berlind and Theodore Mann, and composers Stephen Schwartz and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with playwright and actor and Charles Ludlum inducted posthumously. The 39th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 25th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

Forthcoming productions at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow will include Cinderella, by Alan McHugh, with Mark Carlisle, Sarah Haworth, Helen McAlpine and Mairi Phillips, directed by Jeremy Raison, with choreography by Maxine Braham, opening on 1st December; and the premiere of Backbeat, adapted from his screenplay of the 1994 film about the early years of the Beatles in Hamburg, by Iain Softly and Stephen Jeffreys, directed by Softly, opening on 12th February, produced by Karl Sydow.

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 5th November. 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.

Camille O'Sullivan will perform her cabaret show, Camille The Dark Angel, for a 6 week season at the Apollo Theatre, from 7th December.

The Union Theatre in Southwark will stage the European premiere of the Off Broadway musical A Man Of No Importance, book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, adapted from the 1994 film, with Paul Clarkson, Roisin Sullivan, Anthony Cable, Dieter Thomas, Paul Monaghan, Jamie Honeybourne, A J O'Neill, Joanna Nevin, Ruth Berkeley, Kimberly Ensor, Emily Juler, Nicola Redman, Niall Sheehy, Daniel Maguire, Patrick Joseph Kelliher, Barra Collins and Adam Davenport, directed by Ben De Wynter, with choreography by Phyllida Crowley-Smith, opening on 12th November. Set in Dublin in the 1960s, it tells the story of a bus conductor who runs a community theatre group.

Soho Theatre is now accepting entries for the Westminster Prize, an annual playwriting competition for playwrights of any age with or without experience, who live, work or study in Westminster, and whose work has not been professionally produced. Entrants are invited to submit a short play (approximately 10 minutes long) with two characters, inspired by one of three photographs, which show urban scenes. The three winners will receive theatre tokens and the plays will be given a staged reading at Soho Theatre in the spring. There will be a free workshop on 17th November for anyone wanting advice or help in writing their play, but places are limited. The closing date for entries is 11th January. The photographs and further information can be found on the Soho Theatre website via the link from the London Theatres section of TheatreNet.