Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
The National Theatre has announced new productions, which will include in the Olivier: Sophocles's Antigone, in a version by Don Taylor, directed by Polly Findlay; Shakespeare's Timon Of Athens, with Simon Russell Beale, directed by Nicholas Hytner; Tirso de Molina's Damned For Despair, involving a hermit who rebels against God and a gangster drawn to repentance, in a new version by Frank McGuinness, directed by Bijan Sheibani; Richard Bean's new adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's The Count Of Monte Cristo, directed by Timothy Sheader; Carl Zuckmayer's The Captain Of Kopenick, telling the true story of an ex-convict, who uses the power of a military uniform to assume command of his town and raid its treasury, with Antony Sher, directed by Adrian Noble; and Shakespeare's Othello, with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, directed by Nicholas Hytner; plus the return of the documentary musical London Road, book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe, music and lyrics by Adam Cork, based on interviews with Ipswich residents after the murder of six local prostitutes, directed by Rufus Noirris.
In the Lyttelton: the Landmark Productions/Galway Arts Festival production of Misterman, written and directed by Enda Walsh, performed by Cillian Murphy; the premiere of Stephen Beresford's The Last Of The Haussmans, about a former hippy who, now a mother, has to live with the consequences of her misspent youth, with Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory, directed by Howard Davies; George Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma, directed by Nadia Fall; the premiere of Alan Bennett's People, directed by Nicholas Hytner; and Maxim Gorky's Children Of The Sun, about the privileged intellectual elite of Russia, who are unaware of what is going on around them, directed by Howard Davies. In the Cottesloe: Simon Stephens's adaptation of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, about a 15 year old boy on the autism spectrum living in Swindon, with Una Stubbs, Luke Treadaway and Nicola Walker, directed by Marianne Elliott; the premiere of James Graham's This House, directed by Jeremy Herrin; a new play by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rupert Goold; and Hansel And Gretel directed by Katie Mitchell.
This year's Olivier Awards ceremony, to be held at the Royal Opera House on 15th April, hosted by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, will be screened via live relay to a screen in the Covent Garden piazza, and to an invited audience in Frederick P Rose Hall at the Time Warner Centre in New York. The show will also be screened on television via the BBC Red Button, and online, with further coverage on BBC Radio 2.
Cape Town theatre company Isango Ensemble will play a season at the Hackney Empire from 11th May, comprising Aesop's Fables, by Peter Terson, a musical set within the recent history of South Africa; The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, a musical adaptation by Stephen Lowe from Robert Tressell's political novel, relocated to 1950s Cape Town; and Puccini's La boheme, with a new libretto by Peter Cann, re-imagined in the townships of contemporary South Africa, all with music by Mandisi Dyantyis and Pauline Malefane, directed by Mark Dornford-May, with choreography by Lungelo Ngamlana.
New York TheatreNet: Last year's New York Theatre Workshop production of the play with music Peter And The Starcatcher, by Rick Elice, music by Wayne Barker, adapted from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's 'prequel' to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, with a company of 12 portraying 50 characters, directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, with musical staging by Stephen Hoggett, will open on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 15th. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.
Anton Burg's Bette And Joan, about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of the film Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, with Greta Scacchi and Anita Dobson, directed by Bill Alexander, will open a national tour at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 20th March. The producers are Mark Goucher and Ann Pinnington.
The spring season at the Unicorn Theatre at London Bridge will include Matthew Lenton's The Legend Of Captain Crow's Teeth, adapted from the novel by Eoin Colfer, an adventure with ghostly pirates, sibling rivalry and terrifying school discos, opening on 3rd April; The Greeks, a double bill of new versions of Greek classics, comprising Nancy Harris's The Man With The Disturbingly Smelly Foot, based on the story of Philoctetes, and Ryan Craig's How To Think The Unthinkable, based on the story of Antigone, both directed by Ellen McDougall, opening on 1st May; Mark Arends's Something Far Away, which forgoes dialogue, using projection, puppetry and music to tell the story of a man who loses his wife and builds a spaceship so he can look back on his happy memories on earth, from 1st June; and Tales From The River Thames, stories written by 600 school children across London about what could be in and on the river, in a site-specific space underneath London Bridge station, from 12th June.
Applications are now being considered for Stage One and the Society Of London Theatre's Apprentice Scheme For New Producers. The scheme is an opportunity for new producers wanting to learn more about theatre production to get 6 to 12 months paid training in a West End production office. Applicants must have at least one year's practical experience in theatre administration or production, and be committed to a career in commercial theatre production. The award is up to £18,600 per annum to cover expenses. 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.
Karin Young's The Awkward Squad, a state-of-the-nation comedy, taking a sideways look at the challenges faced by modern women of all ages, with Charlie Hardwick, Barbara Marten, Libby Davison and Lisa McGrillis, will play at the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, from 6th March. The producer is Fresh Glory Productions.