News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th April 2012

English National Opera's 2012/2013 season at the London Coliseum will include new productions of Philip Glass's The Perfect American, based on Peter Stephan Jungk's novel Der Konig von Amerika, a partly fictionalised account of the final years of Walt Disney's life; Charpentier's Medea, directed by David McVicar; Martinu's Julietta, directed by Richard Jones; Handel's Julius Caesar, directed by Michael Keegan-Dolan; Vaughan Williams's The Pilgrim's Progress, directed by Yoshi Oida; Bizet's Carmen, directed by Calixto Bieito; Verdi's La Traviata, directed by Peter Konwitschny; and Berg's Wozzeck, directed by Rupert Goold. There will also be revivals of Nicholas Hytner's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute; Deborah Warner's production of Benjamin Britten's Death In Venice; Rufus Norris's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni; and Jonathan Miller's productions of Rossini's The Barber Of Seville, and Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. In addition, ENO will stage Sunken Garden, music by Michel van der Aa, libretto by David Mitchell, a tale of crime, hoax and dark truth, which will combine film with live performance, at the Barbican.

The Menier Chocolate Factory production of Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party, the embarrassment, hysteria and pathos of a 1970s nouveau riche suburban cocktail party from hell, with Jill Halfpenny, Joe Absolom, Natalie Casey, Susannah Harker and Andy Nyman, directed by Lindsay Posner, will transfer to Wyndham's Theatre, opening on 18th May. It is a co-production with the Theatre Royal Bath.

Future productions at the Donmar Warehouse will include Brian Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come, about a young Irishman's hopes and fears on the eve of his departure for a new life in America, with Rory Keenan and Paul Reid, directed by Lindsay Turner, opening on 31st July; and Jean Racine's Berenice, a love triangle comprising the Queen of Palestine, the Emperor of Rome and the King of Comagene, in a new version by Alan Hollinghurst, with Ann-Marie Duff, directed by Josie Rourke, opening on 2nd October.

New York TheatreNet: According to Bloomberg.com the musical Wicked has made its creators multimillionaires. Producers and investors in the show, which celebrated its 8th anniversary at the Gershwin Theatre 30th October 2011, have enjoyed more than $300m in profits from productions worldwide. Original novelist Gregory Maguire, book writer Winnie Holzman and music and lyricist Stephen Schwartz have earned more than $95m between them, while director Joe Mantello has earned over $23m, choreographer Wayne Cilento over $6.3m, set designer Eugene Lee over $6.6m, and costume designer Susan Hilferty over $2.2m. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

6 Actors In Search Of A Director, written and directed by Steven Berkoff, about actors on a film set while they are waiting for the call to start shooting, with Neil Stuke, Philip Voss, Andree Bernard, Sarah Chamberlain, Ruth Everett and Paul Trussell, will open at the Charing Cross Theatre on 23rd May. The producers are Steven M Levy and Vaughan Williams.

The Sheffield Theatres production of Michael Frayn's Democracy, about the relationship between West German chancellor Willy Brandt and his personal assistant Gunter Guillaume, who was a spy for the East German Stasi, with Andrew Bridgmont, David Cann, Patrick Drury, Richard Hope, William Hoyland, Ed Hughes, David Mallinson, Aidan McArdle, James Quinn and Rupert Vansittart, directed by Paul Miller, will transfer to the Old Vic Theatre, opening on 20th June.

On The Casting Couch: Stephen Mangan will be joined by Lisa Dillon in Joe Penhall's Birthday, opening at the Royal Court Theatre on 28th June; and Hattie Morahan and Dominic Rowan will head the cast of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, opening at the Young Vic Theatre on 9th July.

Theatrica Ltd will stage the musical The Thing About Men, book and lyrics by Joe Dipietro, music by Jimmy Roberts, based on Doris Dorrie's German film Manner, about the ridiculous situations met get themselves into by lying, directed by Andrew Keates, with choreography by Cressida Carre, opening at the Landor Theatre, in Clapham, on 18th May.

The Landor Theatre production of The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, book, music and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, adapted from Charles Dickens's final unfinished murder mystery novel, performed as in a Victorian Music Hall, with the audience voting on 'whodunit', with Wendi Peters, Natalie Day, Daniel Robinson, Loula Geater, David Francis, Denis Delahunt, Richard Stirling, Oliver Mawdsley, Mark Ralston, Paul Hutton, Tom Pepper and Ben Goffe, directed by Matthew Gould, will transfer to the Arts Theatre, off Charing Cross Road, opening on 22nd May. The producer is Aria Entertainment.

Ovation will stage Goodnight Mrs Calabash - The Jimmy Durante Musical, book, music and lyrics by Tony Day, a biomusical of the American vaudeville star, with Benjamin Stirling, Jenni Bowden, Matt Palmer, David Muscat, Rachel Ann Crane, Keri Flanagan, Aaron Gibson, Josh Wilmott, Faith Erde, Lucy Mills and Ryan Bernstein, directed by Racky Plews, with choreography by Lee Proud, at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, in Highgate, from 17th May

London Wonderground, featuring a mix of cabaret, circus, sideshow and musical acts, bringing Coney Island to the South Bank, will be staged in a 1920s Spiegeltent, the Belgium originated portable performance venue with mirrors lining the interior walls, located in Jubilee Gardens, between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye, from 8th May to 30th September.

Headlong theatre company's future productions will include the premieres of Lucy Prebble's The Effect, a 'clinical romance', directed by Rupert Goold, a co-production with the National Theatre; a new version of Euripides's Medea, written and directed by Mike Barltett, a co-production with Glasgow Citizens Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre; a musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, about a Manhattan businessman who is a serial killer, directed by Rupert Goold, a co-production with Act 4 Entertainment and The Collective; and Lucy Kirkwood's Chimerica, a secret history.