News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th July 2009

New York TheatreNet: Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will star in the premiere of Keith Huff's A Steady Rain, about two cops whose lifelong friendship is severely tested when a seemingly routine domestic disturbance call results in the death of a young boy, directed by John Crowley, which will open on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on 29th September.

The autumn season at Polka Theatre for Children in Wimbledon will include The Ride Of Your Life, written and directed by Mick Gordon, the story of a boy and his dog who board a rollercoaster through time, and learn about evolution, from 25th September; Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach, adapted by David Wood, in which a boy enters a giant peach and goes on a magical journey half way round the world with the insects he meets there, directed by Roman Stefanski, from 13th November; and Charlie And Lola's Best Bestest Play, based on the characters in the books by Lauren Child, adapted by Jonathan Lloyd, brought to life by a mix of puppets and music in a collision of 2-D and 3-D worlds, directed by Roman Stefanski, from 17th February.

On The Casting Couch: Suzie Toase will be joined by Leanne Rowe, Mark Curry, Mark Hadfield, Jeffrey Holland and Eugene O'Hare in Talent, opening at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark on 23rd September; Anna Friel and Joseph Cross will be joined by James Dreyfus, Suzanne Bertish, Dermot Crowley and John Ramm in Breakfast At Tiffany's, opening at the Haymarket Theatre on 29th September; Sanaa Lathan, Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones will be joined by Richard Blackwood, Derek Griffiths, Joseph Mydell and Nina Sosanya in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, opening at the Novello Theatre on 1st December; and Sheridan Smith, Duncan James and Alex Gaumond will be joined by Susan McFadden and Aoife Mulholland in Legally Blonde The Musical, opening at the Savoy Theatre on 13th January.

The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers - STAR - has launched a new set of recommended terms and conditions for its members, aimed at making the purchasing of tickets as simple and safe for consumers as possible. Created with the help of the Office of Fair Trading, the guidelines will be used to standardise their approach to issues surrounding refunds and exchanges, ticket delivery, cancelled events and conditions of entry. STAR is aiming to improve consumer awareness of what to look for when buying tickets, making it easier to distinguish between legitimate ticket sellers - theatre box offices and established ticket agents - and rogue traders touting on the street and via the internet, so that people can avoid paying inflated prices or risk losing everything if something goes wrong. Further information can be found on the STAR web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Welsh National Opera's 2009/2010 season, which opens at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 12th September, will include new productions of Verdi's La traviata, with Alfie Boe, directed by David McVicar, a co-production with Scottish Opera and Gran Teatre del Liceu; Mozart's The Abduction From The Seraglio, directed by James Robinson, a co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Colorado, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Minnesota Opera and Opera Pacific; and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, with Bryn Terfel, directed by Richard Jones; plus revivals of Joachim Herz's production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly, with Amanda Roocroft; Richard Jones's production of Alban Berg's Wozzeck, a co-production with Komische Oper Berlin; Michael Blakemore's production of Puccini's Tosca, a co-production with the State Opera of South Australia; Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser's production of Bizet's Carmen, with Patricia Bardon and Gwyn Hughes Jones; and James Macdonald's production of Verdi's Rigoletto.

The autumn season at The Gate Theatre in Notting Hill Gate will include the world premieres of Sam Holcroft's Vanya, a contemporary reworking of Anton Checkov's Uncle Vanya, the story of unrequited love, dogged perseverance, and the strength of the human spirit, concentrating on the four central characters, with Fiona Button, Robert Goodale, Susie Trayling and Simon Wilson, directed by Natalie Abrahami, from 26th August; and Leo Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata, adapted by Nancy Harris, in which a man on a train confesses to a terrible crime, for which he holds Beethoven's music responsible, with Tobias Beer, also directed by Natalie Abrahami, from 5th November.

The repertoire for Northern Ballet Theatre's autumn tour, which opens at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 10th September, will comprise David Nixon's productions of Dracula, Wuthering Heights and Peter Pan, and Christopher Gable and Massimo Moricone's production of A Christmas Carol.

The Equity Charitable Trust is now accepting applications for its Educational Bursaries, awarded to offer financial assistance to enable members of the theatrical profession, with a minimum of 10 years experience, who are looking to refocus their career, or develop skills outside the profession. Further information can be found on the ECT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Future productions at the Soho Theatre will include Paines Plough performing Dennis Kelly's Orphans, a contemporary suspense story that starts with the arrival an unexpected visitor covered in blood, directed by Roxana Silbert, from 30th September; Natasha Langridge's Shraddha, a Romeo and Juliet story set among Romany Gypsies about to be evicted from the Olympics site in east London, directed by Lisa Goldman, from 29th October; the return of the Clean Break production of Chloe Moss's This Wide Night, the story of two women who forged a strong friendship while in prison, but find that this threatens their attempts to make a fresh start when they are released, directed by Lucy Morrison, from 21st November; and the Scamp Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre production of Stick Man, adapted from the book by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, about the misadventure of a stick when he leaves the family tree, directed by Sally Cookson, from 10th December.

The autumn season at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich will include the premiere of the musical It's A Wonderful Life, book and lyrics by Steve Brown and Francis Matthews, music by Steve Brown, adapted from the 1946 film about a man in a small American town brought to the brink of suicide, whose guardian angel shows him how the town would have changed had he never been born, with Paul Thornley and Helen Anker, opening on 17th September, a co-production with Avalon Promotions; and Aladdin, The Wok 'n' Roll Pantomime by Pete Rowe and Alan Ellis, featuring a score of rock and roll classics, from 26th November.