News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th April 2008

Director and performer Robert Lepage's latest work Lipsynch, performed in French, German, Spanish and English (with English surtitles), will play at the Barbican Theatre from 6th to 14th September. The 9 hour performance, presented in 3 parts, spans a time frame of 70 years, exploring the voice as a metaphor for human expression and interaction, with the action journeying from war torn Vienna and pre-revolutionary Nicaragua to contemporary London, encountering people who have lost the power of speech and those for whom it is their only lifeline.

The National Theatre of Scotland has announced its autumn season. In addition to the previously mentioned 365 One Night To Learn A Lifetime, by David Harrower, with songs by Paul Buchanan, about young people in practice flats prior to leaving care, directed by Vicky Featherstone, which will transfer to the Lyric Hammersmith from 8th September; and Be Near Me, Andrew O'Hagan's novel about a Catholic priest who takes over a depressed Scottish parish and is drawn into the unstable world of two local teenagers, adapted by and featuring Ian McDiarmid, directed by John Tiffany, co-produced with the Donmar Warehouse; will be the premiere of a piece devised in collaboration with TEAM (USA), Architecting, a multimedia time bending epic about the reconstruction of nations and selves, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Ian Smith and Mischief La-Bas's Peeping At Bosch, a Hieronymous Bosch-inspired installation piece; an updated version of Ray Bradbury's coming of age story Something Wicked This Way Comes, directed by Gill Robertson; and a season of plays by debut playwrights, Paul Higgins's Nobody Ever Forgive Us, Andy Duffy's Nasty, Brutish And Short, Kenny Lindsay's The Dogstone and Sam Holcroft's Cockroach.

Further productions have been announced at Trafalgar Studios 2. David Bradley will perform Richard Crane's one man show The Quiz, a black comedy about an actor taking his roles too seriously, directed by David Giles, from 17th June, produced by New Vic Workshop, Jordan Productions and James Seabright; Steven Hevey's In My Name, with James Alexandrou, Ray Panthaki, Kevin Watt and Adeel Akhtar, examining the consequences of allowing life to pass you by, opening on 3rd July, produced by Yaller Skunk Theatre Company; The Black Sheep (aka writer/performers Andrew Jones and Ciaran Murtagh), return with their improvisational children's show Professor Bumm's Story Machine, and a show for adults I, Lear, a comic journey through the entirety of British theatre, directed by Cal McCrystal, from 21st July; and The MAD (Make A Difference) Fringe, will feature cabaret, comedy, theatre and music, staged in aid of the charity Theatrecares, from 18th to 23rd August.

This year's season at Garsington Park Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', running from 4th June to 6th July, continues the policy of combining favourite operas with discoveries of little known works. It comprises Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, with Erica Eloff, Anna Stephany, Ashley Catling, D'Arcy Bleiker, Riccardo Novaro and Teuta Koço, directed by John Cox; Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, with Christopher Purves, Robert Murray, Sinead Campbell, Susan Bickley, Stephen Richardson, Phyllis Cannan and Christopher Gillett, directed by Olivia Fuchs; and the British premiere of Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario, a tale of love, political rivalry and deceit in 500BC Persia, with Paul Nilon, Renata Pokupic, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Nicholas Watts, Sophie Bevan, Russell Smythe and Katherine Manley, directed by David Freeman. Further information can be found on the GPO web site via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler's Haunted, a thriller set at a dinner party at a loft apartment in Southwark, with Jessie Wallace, Hamish Clark, Gary McDonald, Caroline Catz and Sue Devaney, directed by Paul Jepson, will open at the Arts Theatre, on 23rd May.

The Young Vic has announced two further productions: the musical Street Scene, book Elmer Rice, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics Langston Hughes, which tells the story of a day and night in the life of the inhabitants of a New York tenement in 1947, directed by John Fulljames, with choreography by Arthur Pita, from 17th July, a co-production with The Opera Group, Watford Palace Theatre; and the return of the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord production of Fragments, five lesser known plays by Samuel Beckett, with Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni and Khalifa Natour, directed by Peter Brook, from 27th August.

West End Live, the event showcasing West End entertainment will return to Leicester Square on 21st and 22nd June, from 11am until 6pm. Cast members from Avenue Q, Buddy, Chicago, Dirty Dancing, Grease, Jersey Boys, Joseph, Into The Hoods, The Lord Of The Rings, Mamma Mia!, Never Forget, The Sound Of Music, Stomp, We Will Rock You and Wicked, together with musicians from Shakespeare's Globe playing medieval instruments, will be among those performing on the central stage, plus a host of other entertainers, exhibits and activities taking place in marquees around the square, including a celebration of 100 years of London theatre. Further information can be found on the WEL web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders's bank raid 'best of' farewell tour French And Saunders - Still Alive, directed by Hamish McColl, may play dates at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, between the eradication of the Orcs of The Lord Of The Rings, and the installation of the paupers of Oliver!; that Zorro, a musical version of the story of a masked hero and swashbuckling swordsman, using the music of the flamenco band the Gipsy Kings, which is currently touring, may transfer to the Garrick Theatre with Matt Rawle and Aimie Atkinson - but without Adam Cooper; and that the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, adapted from Frank Wedekind's 1891 play about the sexual stirring of a group of young people, may launch with an 'off West End' season at the Lyric Hammersmith early next year, rather than open cold in a West End theatre. The Rumour Machine grinds on.