News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th August 2004

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Caroline O'Connor will bring her award winning one woman show Bombshells, directed by Simon Phillips, to the Arts Theatre from 6th September to 30th October. Written specially for O'Connor by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, it comprises six monologues by women of different ages from 15 to 57, attempting to cope with the stresses of modern life.

The Battersea Arts Centre OctoberFest, running from 2nd to 22nd October is a mixture of full length shows and works in progress, including the world premieres of Disembodied, with David Glass, accompanied by composer Jonathon Cooper, which looks at the battle between time and the body, directed by Glass and Tom Morris; Chicago based company Goat Island with When Will The September Roses Bloom? and Last Night Was Only A Comedy, questioning our place in a damaged world and our potential for repairing it; plus Mat Fraser with Thalidomide! A Musical, a love story spanning the original scandal of the 60s through to its current use against leprosy; and local heroes Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas running through ideas for a new opera, The German Experiment. Further information can be found on the BAC web site via the link from the London Venues section of TheatreNet.

Derek Jacobi, Richard Coyle, Claire Price and Una Stubbs star in Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos, in a new adaptation by Mike Poulton, at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from 1st October to 6th November. This will be the final production directed by associate director Michael Grandage. It is the story of the tyrannical King of Spain who marries his son's lover, provoking a rebellion against his oppressive regime. The remaining cast comprises Stuart Burt, Elliot Cowan, Peter Eyre, Michael Hadley, Ian Hogg, Paul Keating, Andrew McDonald, Brian Poyser, Charlotte Randle and Roger Swaine.

Off Broadway: The Atlantic Theater Company will present two world premieres in its new season. Woody Allen is returning to the theatre to direct his play A Second Hand Memory, set in 1950s Brooklyn, featuring Michael McKean, Kate Blumberg, Dominic Chianese, Nicky Katt, Erica Leerhsen and Martha Plimpton, opening on 22nd November. This will be followed by Romance, a comedy by David Mamet, directed by Neil Pepe, opening in February.

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is staging an epic week long fundraising sponsored walk, recreating Shakespeare's journey from Stratford to London, from 20th to 26th September. The 140 mile journey will start at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and end at the Globe Theatre. For participants in the final 10 mile 'leg' on the last day, there will be a historical tour of theatrical London. Further information about making a donation, sponsoring someone, or taking part, can be found on the LAMDA website via the link from the Training section of TheatreNet.

Edinburgh Fringe Report: Hard To Believe, a one man play written and directed by Conall Morrison, performed by Sean Kearns will transfer to the Riverside Studios, from 3rd to 26th September. Its premise is a former counter-intelligence officer who operated dirty tricks for the British army in Northern Ireland returning home and reviewing his life. The producer is Storytellers Theatre Company.

The new season at the Bush Theatre includes two world premieres. Chloe Moss's How Love Is Spelt, about a girl who moves to London to start a new life, but finds her old one follows her, directed by Julie-Anne Robinson, plays from 1st to 23rd October. Richard Cameron's Gong Donkey's, about storytelling from Dickens to soap operas, directed by Mike Bradwell, runs from 5th November to 11th December.

Ralph Koltai: Designer For The Stage is a retrospective exhibition of work by the designer at the National Theatre from 2nd September until 2nd October. Koltai has designed over two hundred productions, encompassing drama, opera, dance and musicals, in the Britain and throughout the world. He has been particularly associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Covent Garden and English National Opera. The exhibition also includes a selection of recent collage sculptures inspired by the interpretation of landscape.

The autumn season at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith includes James Wilby as Moliere's Don Juan, a man who has lived only for pleasure and has to face the consequences, in a new version written and directed by Neil Bartlett, with James Bellorini, Kirsty Bushell, Patti Clare, Giles Fagan, Giles Havergal and Paul Ritter; the award winning Kneehigh Theatre production of Euripides's The Bacchae, exploring the journey from being the chosen ones to being the guilty ones, directed by Emma Rice; the Told By An Idiot production of Philip Pullman's The Firework Maker's Daughter, about a girl who wants to be a firework maker whose father won't tell her the final trade secret, adapted by Stephen Russell, directed by Paul Hunter and Hayley Carmicheal; and the return of Tamasha Theatre's Strictly Dandia, an Indian version of Strictly Ballroom, by Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, with music by Shri, directed by Landon-Smith, and choreographed by Liam Steel.

On The Casting Couch: Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Martyn Ellis and Gillian Bevan will be joined by Daniel Evans, David Lucas, Sarah Annis, David Birrell, Paul Hazel, Graham Macduff, Joseph Noble, and Sevan Stephan in Grand Hotel, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 29th November.

An online petition, urging 'Keep Broadway On Record', addressed to executives at Sony, RCA Victor, Nonesuch, Atlantic and Hollywood Records, has collected over 5,000 signatures in just over a week. In the past, almost all Broadway musicals were recorded for posterity, bringing the talent of Broadway casts and creatives to the world. In some cases, shows that were originally flops were later rediscovered through these recordings and staged successfully. However, Original Cast Recordings are on the verge of extinction, as record company executives consider them to be uneconomic, and in future only proven hits will be recorded. The petition aims to change the executives' minds by convincing them that a big market exits, and will be forwarded to the record companies in September. You can find the petition at Stage Space via the link from the Organisations section of TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Helena Bonham Carter will return to the stage, joined by Gary Kemp making his West End debut, in a new play Rubenstein's Kiss early next year; and that Ralph Fiennes will play Hamlet again, directed by Adrian Noble, at an off West End venue, probably the Riverside Studios, in the autumn of next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.