News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd November 2012

The 1st 24 Hour Musicals Celebrity Gala will take place at the Old Vic Theatre on Sunday 8th December. A group of actors, writers and directors will come together on the evening of Saturday 7th December, and form teams to write and rehearse 4 short musicals to be performed 24 hours later. Those involved will include Jeff Goldblum, Tracie Bennett, Rosalie Craig, Richard Fleeshman, Freddie Fox, Haydn Gwynne, Anthony Head, Laura Michelle Kelly, Colin Morgan, Con O'Neill, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Planer, Amy Nuttall, Jemima Rooper and Sharon Small. The event will be introduced by Kevin Spacey and hosted by Matt Lucas.

The spring season at Salisbury Playhouse will include J B Priestley's Dangerous Corner, in which chance remark after a dinner party leads to a series of dramatic revelations, directed by Gareth Machin, from 31st January; Alan Ayckbourn's Joking Apart, which reveals the relationships of the friends of a perfect couple through a series of parties in their garden over a 12 year period, directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace, from February 27th, a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse; and the musical A Man Of No Importance, book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, adapted from the 1994 film, set in Dublin in the 1960s, a tale of family, friendship and acceptance, about a bus conductor who runs a community theatre group, directed by Gareth Machin, from 25th April.

On The Casting Couch: Gemma Jones, Anna Madeley and Orlando Wells will head the cast of Henry James's The Turn Of The Screw, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 24th January; Scarlett Strallen, Leigh Zimmerman, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and John Partridge will be among the cast of the Michael Bennett-James Kirkwood-Marvin Hamlisch-Edward Kleban musical A Chorus Line, opening at the London Palladium on 15th February; and Daniel Mays, Susannah Fielding, Maggie Steed, Jamie Beamish, Ron Cook, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Daniel Kaluuya, Fergal Mcelherron, Amy Morgan, Joshua Silver and Peter Wight will feature in Arthur Wing Pinero's Trelawny Of The Wells, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 26th February.

Savio(u)r will stage a double bill by Thornton Wilder, The Happy Journey To Trenton And Camden, relating a road trip made in the face of a recent tragedy in Depression era America, and The Long Christmas Dinner, in which 3 successive generations of a family celebrate the holidays as 90 years pass by, with Stephanie Beattie, Rosy Benjamin, Simon Dobson, Ben Fuiava, David Gerits, Tamarin McGinley, Carole Street and Rita Walters, directed by Tim Sullivan, opening at the King's Head Theatre, in Islington, on 14th December.

New York TheatreNet: LAUGHistan will stage the premiere of Bumbug The Musical, book, music and lyrics by Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri, which relocates the story of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol to the contemporary Indian immigrant community of New York, with Kiarri Andrews, Andrew Guilarte, Brooke Ishibashi, Matthew Knowland, Adrienne C Moore, Debargo Sanyal, Lipica Shah and Falu, directed by Mercedes Murphy, opening at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row on 15th December. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The European premiere of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, a sprawling historical saga set in Afghanistan, following one man's journey to confront his past and find redemption, adapted by Matthew Spangler, directed by Giles Croft, will play at Nottingham Playhouse from 26th April, a co-production with Liverpool Playhouse, where it will transfer from 13th June.

The spring season at the Finborough Theatre, in Earls Court, will include Iain Finlay Macleod's Somersaults, exploring the role of language and how it defines who we, directed by Russell Bolam, opening on 4th January, produced by Luke Holbrook; John Van Druten's London Wall, a wryly comic look at the life of women office workers in the 1930s, directed by Tricia Thorns, opening on 1st February, produced by Two's Company; and Arthur Milner's Facts, about what happens when the truth becomes too dangerous to reveal, directed by Caitlin McLeod, opening on 28th February, produced by Worn Red Theatre.

Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing, characterised as 'a story of two gay men in a Thamesmead tower block', with Suranne Jones, directed by Nikolai Foster, will open a regional tour at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, on 17th April. The producer is QNQ.

Wilmington Theatre Company will stage a triple bill by George Bernard Shaw, How He Lied To Her Husband, in which a wife's admirer's love poems fall into the hands of her spouse, Overruled, in which two adulterous couples are forced to choose between their heads and their hearts, and Village Wooing, in which the life of a guide book writer is changed forever after a chance encounter on a cruise ship, with Eoin Bentick, Lucy Hough, Alice St Clair and Leo Wyndham, directed by Polina Kalinina, at the Old Red Lion Theatre, at the Angel, opening on 4th January.

The recent Old Vic Theatre production of Michael Frayn's Noises Off, showing the onstage and behind the scenes travails of a group of actors performing in a touring production of a farce, directed by Lindsay Posner, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Bath on 27th March.

The spring season at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow will include Jean Genet's The Maids, the story of two sisters who contrive the perfect murder of their mistress, with an all male cast, directed by Stewart Laing, opening on 19th January; Donna Franceschild's adaptation of her television series Takin' Over The Asylum, about the relationship that develops between a washed up DJ on a psychiatric hospital radio station and the patients, with Iain Robertson and Brian Vernel, directed by Mark Thomson, opening on 16th February, a co-production with the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh; Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, in a revised version by Colin Teevan, directed by Dominic Hill, opening on 7th April, a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse; and a double bill of Caryl Churchill's Far Away, about a world in which everything in nature is at war, and Seagulls, a story of a woman who possesses the power of telekinesis, directed by Dominic Hill, opening on 25th May.