News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th April 2007

The 113th season of the BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts takes place at the Royal Albert Hall between 13th July and 8th September. The world's greatest classical music festival centres on 70 main concerts (at least one every evening) with consistently low ticket prices, including half price tickets for under 16s, and 500 'promming' tickets at only 5 each, available every day 30 minutes before the doors open. In addition, there is a series of lunch time Chamber Music Proms at the Cadogan Hall, Late Night Proms starting around 10pm, Pre-Prom and Background talks at the RAH and the Royal Geographical Society, Family Orchestra events at the Royal College of Arts, and weekend afternoon films at the RGS. All concerts are broadcast live on Radio 3, with many televised on BBC4, and available via audio and video webcasts. This year's themes are words and music, particularly Shakespeare, W H Auden and William Blake, and anniversary composers Elgar and Sibelius. Among the premieres will be Richard Rodney Bennett's Four Poems of Thomas Campion, John Adam's Doctor Atomic Symphony and Thea Musgrave's Two's Company. The Last Night will include the 12th outdoor Proms In The Park, with 35,000 people in Hyde Park, and simultaneous concerts running in Belfast, Glasgow, Swansea and Tees Valley, plus big screen relays in 8 other cities. All five live events culminate in live big screen link ups with the Royal Albert Hall. Further information can be found on the BBC Proms web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Cirque du Soleil has announced the British premiere of its arena spectacular Delirium, which combines holograms, multimedia sound and video imaging as well as physical theatre, dance and music, played out on a 130ft stage and 540ft of projection surfaces. It features an international cast of 36 artists, comprising 8 musicians, 11 dancers, 6 singers, 8 acrobats and 3 actors, directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. There will be six performances in October: MEN Arena Manchester on 8th and 9th, NIA Arena Birmingham on 11th and 12th and Sheffield Hallam FM Arena on 13th and 14th.

The Barbican has announced further events in its BITE: 07 season: the Complicite production of A Disappearing Number, conceived and directed by Simon McBurney, inspired by the story of Indian mathematician Ramanujan, with David Annen, Firdous Bamji, Paul Bhattacharjee, Hiren Chate, Divya Kasturi, Chetna Pandya and Shane Shambhu, Saskia Reeves and Simon McBurney, opening on 11th September; a season of contemporary Australian performance from 3rd October, comprising Gilgamesh by Uncle Semolina (& friends), Heard It On The Wireless by The Kransky Sisters; Roadkill by Splinter Group and Small Metal Objects by Back to Back Theatre; Michael Clark Company with the final part of Stravinsky Project, opening on 31st October; and a new version of Jack And The Beanstalk, by Jonathan Harvey, opening on 6th December.

This year's season at Grange Park Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', runs from 31st May to 4th July, with further performances at Neville Holt from 6th to 15th July. It comprises new productions of Prokofiev's The Gambler, with Andrew Shore, Katherine Rohrer, Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts, Doreen Curran, Hubert Francis and Carol Rowlands, directed by David Fielding; Mozart's The Magic Flute, with Jeremy White, Elizabeth Atherton, Adrian Dwyer, David Stout and Victoria Joyce, directed by Stephen Metcalf; Verdi's Falstaff, with Robert Poulton, Frank Egerton, David-Alexandre Borloz, Stuart Kale, William Dazeley, Matthew Beale and Janis Kelly, directed by Daniel Slater; and Handel's Semele with Edward Lyon, Hilary Summers, Gail Pearson, Brindley Sherratt, Rosemary Joshua, Hilary Summers and Stephen Wallace; plus a revival of Dominic Cooke's production of Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi. In order to accommodate a dinner interval, entry is from 3.30pm, with performances beginning at 5.20pm. Further information can be found on the GPO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

New York TheatreNet: Lauren Ambrose and Oscar Isaac will play the title roles, with Camryn Manheim as the Nurse, in the Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo And Juliet, directed by Michael Greif, playing from 5th June to 8th July at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The accompanying production will be A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Daniel Sullivan, playing from 7th August to 9th September.

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced its 2007/2008 season, opening at Birmingham Hippodrome on 26th September. It will feature a new triple bill comprising Marius Petipa's Paquita, Frederick Ashton's Daphnis And Chloe and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs; a Stravinsky triple bill comprising John Cranko's Card Game, Mikhail Fokine's Petrushka and Michael Corder's new Le Baiser de la fee; David Bintley's jazz triple bill comprising The Shakespeare Suite, The Orpheus Suite and Take Five; Bintley's full length Edward II, plus three classic productions from its repertoire, Peter Wright's The Nutcracker, Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's Swan Lake; and Galina Samsova and David Bintley's Giselle.

Performing Theatres? is a one day conference bringing together those responsible for creating performances, staging productions, running theatres, managing facilities and attracting audiences, to debate what design features will deliver better performing theatres. Taking place at the Young Vic on 12th June, it is the first Annual Conference to be organised by The Theatres Trust, the national body responsible for the protection of theatres. It will be chaired by Ian Brown, Genista McIntosh and Venu Dhupa, and contributors will include: Jonathan Church, Duncan Hendry, Judith Isherwood, Rosemary Squire, Peter Wilson, William Dudley and David Lan. Further information can be found on the TT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Matthew Kelly will star in the world premiere of Forgotten Voices, adapted and directed by Malcolm McKay, from Max Arthur's book Forgotten Voices Of The Great War, opening at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on 1st June. It will then transfer to the Edinburgh Fringe at the Assembly Rooms on 2nd August. The book was assembled from the oral testimonies of both soldiers and workers on the home front in the First World War, which military historian Arthur found in the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum.

The Warehouse Theatre Croydon is holding its 22nd International Playwriting Festival, in partnership with Italian festival Premio Candoni Arta Terme and Teatro Ena, Cyprus. It is in three parts: a competition for previously unproduced full length plays with entries from all over the world, followed by a series of workshops and readings of ten shortlisted plays, leading on to the presentation of four finalists on 24th and 25th November. Last year there were 500 submissions. The deadline for entries is 30th June. Further information and an entry form can be found on the Warehouse web site via the link from the UK London Venues in the Links section of TheatreNet.