News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th May 2007

The Young Vic has announced its 2007/2008 season. In the Main House: Carson McCullers's The Member Of The Wedding, about a young girl who dreams of leaving home and joining her brother's sophisticated world, directed by Matthew Dunster, opening on 13th September; a revised version of The Investigation, Peter Weiss's documentary play based on the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, performed by a group of actors from Rwanda, directed by Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx, opening on 1st November; and the South African company Portobello performing Mozart's The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) a capella, and a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol (Ikrismas Kherol), both relocated to African township settings, directed by Mark Dornford-May, in repertoire from 29th November. In the Studio: Ma Vie En Rose, a community production based on Alain Berliner's film about a boy who longs to be a girl, directed by Pete Harris, opening on 22nd August; Fragments, five lesser known plays by Samuel Beckett, with Marcello Magni, Kathryn Hunter and Jozef Houben, directed by Peter Brook, opening on 20th September; and Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size, set in the American south about the different life paths chosen by two brothers, directed by Bijan Shebani, opening on 13th November.

The Scoop, the 850 seater open air amphitheatre next to City Hall, the Greater London Assembly building on the south bank opposite the Tower of London, is presenting another summer season of free performances, Wednesdays to Sundays from 2nd August to 9th September. It will comprise John Steinbecks The Grapes Of Wrath, the Depression Era tale of a family that leaves its Oklahoma home in search of a new life in California, adapted by Tim Baker; and Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS, based on the 1967 animated film of Rudyard Kipling's story. As with the previous shows, they will be directed by Phil Willmott, and produced by Suzanna Rosenthal and The Steam Industry, with the National Youth Theatre, providing 8 of the company's 16 actor/musicians. There is no need to book - just turn up and sit down. Prior to this, there will be a season of free screenings of classic films at 9.15pm on Wednesday to Friday evenings between 6th and 29th June; and free lunchtime and early evening concerts, on Wednesdays to Fridays between 4th and 27th July. Further information can be found on The Scoop web site via the link from London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.

This year's Almeida Opera season, from 5th to 22nd July, will include The Silent Twins, music by Errollyn Wallen, text by April de Angelis, based on Marjorie Wallace's book about the arsonist Gibbons twins who refused to talk to the outside world, with Marie Angel, Alison Crookendale, Matthew Sharp, Talise Trevigne, Andrew Rees and La Verne Williams, directed by Martin Constantine; As I Crossed A Bridge Of Dreams, based on the diary of an anonymous 10th century Japanese noblewoman, music by Peter Eotvos, libretto by Mari Mezei, directed by Patrick Dickie; Three Water Plays (Leviathan - The Angel That Troubled The Waters - The Angel On The Ship), music by Detlev Glanert, adapted from Three Minute Plays by Thornton Wilder, morality tales from Biblical and Renaissance sources; and Critical Mass, music by Orlando Gough, in which folk and traditional songs from around the world tell the story of an international political summit, directed by Emma Bernard, performed by Streetwise Opera and The Shout.

The Almeida Theatre has announced the first production in its 2007/2008 season. Stockard Channing will lead the cast in Clifford Odets's Awake And Sing, directed by Michael Attenborough, opening on 6th September. The American classic tells of the hardship faced by three generations of a working class immigrant family living in a Bronx apartment during the 1930s. The theatre is to stage its first family show, Marianne Dreams, adapted by Moira Buffini from Catherine Storr's novel, about a young girl who in her dreams, is transported into the pictures she has drawn, directed by Will Tuckett, opening on 19th December.

Celebrating The Proms: From Henry Wood To Hyde Park is an exhibition in The Folio Society Gallery at the British Library, marking the 80th anniversary of the BBC taking over the running of the Proms. The display draws on the British Library's collections of photographs, programmes, documents and historic audio and video recordings, together with archive material from the BBC, to chart the history of this enduring musical phenomenon. It explores the world of the Victorian promenader, the experience of concert going during the bombing raids of World War II, the music specially composed for the Proms, the much copied Last Night of the Proms, and newer developments such as Proms in the Park. Among the highlights are Edward Elgar's autographed score of Pomp and Circumstance March No 1; letters to Sir Henry Wood from Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jean Sibelius, and a poster for his jubilee concert in 1938; and Malcolm Sargent's silver pocket metronome and one of his batons. The exhibition continues until 8th July.

Give Us A Hand!, written by Michael Rosen, is a new marionette extravaganza celebrating 46 years work by the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, performed by puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew, directed by John Roberts, which opens a tour of London venues at Chat's Place in Hackney on 2nd June. It will feature over 40 of the 'stars' of the Little Angel's shows, including the Little Mermaid, Rapunzel and Angelo, providing a rare opportunity to see long string marionettes in performance. It is part of a series of events celebrating the centenary of John Wright, co-founder of Little Angel, home of British puppetry, who made many of the original puppets. The tour will end with a season at the Little Angel in September.

The Rumour Machine says: that Nathan Lane will star in a musical film set in 1920s Vienna, based on Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, with Tim Rice providing the lyrics; and that Robert Bathurst will perform a one man show as Alex, the Daily Telegraph's comic strip corporate financier, written by the cartoon's creators Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor, and directed by Phelim McDermott; and that the Old Vic Theatre will stage Samuel Adamson's adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's film All About My Mother, about a woman whose son is killed in a car accident, in September. The Rumour Machine grinds on.