News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th March 2008

This year's Glyndebourne season, running from 18th May to 31st August, will include a new commission: Love And Other Demons, composed by Peter Eotvos, libretto by Kornel Hamvai, adapted from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, a story of forbidden love set against a backdrop of slavery and decaying colonialism in 18th century Spanish Columbia, directed by Silviu Purcarete, with Marisol Montalvo, Robert Brubaker and Nathan Gunn; and two new productions: Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, directed by Robert Carsen, with Danielle de Niese and Alice Coote; and Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, directed by Laurent Pelly, with Jennifer Holloway and Adriana Kucerova. There will be three revivals: Graham Vick's production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; Peter Hall's production of Britten's Albert Herring; and David McVicar's production of Bizet's Carmen. There is a programme of early evening talks about each of the operas at The English Speaking Union in London prior to the start of the season, study events at Glyndebourne giving historical background and musical analysis of the new productions, and pre performance talks on each of the productions. Further information can be found on the Glyndebourne web site, via the link from Regional Theatres in the Links section of TheatreNet.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the 'reality television' cast production of Lionel Bart's Oliver!, adapted from Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, will open at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, on 14th January next year, and will also feature Rowan Atkinson. It will be the same production that played at the London Palladium in 1994, but directed by Rupert Goold, and co-directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne. The producer is Cameron Mackintosh

The next production at Southwark Playhouse will be Edna O'Brien's Triptych, with Orla Brady, Terry Norton and Jessica Ellerby, directed by Sean Mathias, opening on 11th April. It is the story of three women - a wife, a mistress and a daughter - and their relationship with one man - a husband, a lover and a father.

The Theatre Royal Bath production of Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea, with Greta Scacchi, Simon Williams and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, directed by Edward Hall, which is currently touring, will transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre, opening on 13th May. It is the story of a woman who has abandoned her husband and life of affluence, for a thoughtless and penniless ex-RAF fighter pilot, who cannot match her blind passion.

The Peter Hall Company season at the Theatre Royal in Bath will include Henry James's Portrait Of A Lady, about a young woman who is left a legacy and is the subject of schemes by two men to relieve her of it, adapted by Nicola Frei, and Henrik Ibsen's A Dolls House, in which a woman rebels against the confines of a Victorian marriage, both with Catherine McCormack, and directed by Peter Hall; Peter Nichols's Born In The Gardens, about an eccentric senior citizen who is unwilling to comply with her children's wishes, with Stephanie Cole; and Alan Bennett's Enjoy, in which a old couple who are refusing to leave a house scheduled for demolition are visited by a sociologist, with Alison Steadman.

Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking, involving mistaken identities and a misplaced marriage proposal, with Angela Thorne and Peter Bowles, directed by Alan Strachan, will open a prospective pre West End tour at the Theatre Royal in Bath in June.

The Bridge Project, an initiative in which Sam Mendes will direct two classic plays each year to run in repertoire, with a company of British and American actors, that will play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, the Old Vic Theatre, and at other international venues, has confirmed its first season. Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, with Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack and Rebecca Hall, will open at BAM next January, and arrive at the Old Vic in the summer. The original first season comprising The Tempest and Hamlet, with Stephen Dillane, which should have opened this year, was postponed when Dillane withdrew for personal reasons.

American writer Jeff Baron's Visiting Mr Green, about an executive guilty of reckless driving, who is ordered to make regular visits to the elderly man he almost knocked down, during which an uneasy relationship develops, with Warren Mitchell and Gideon Turner, directed by Patrick Garland, which recently toured, will play a season at Trafalgar Studios 1, from 8th April to 10th May. The producer is Ian Fricker.

Renoir At The Theatre is a close focus exhibition running at the Courtauld Institute until 25th May, which unites Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 'La Loge (The Theatre Box)', with 'At the Theatre' and 'At The Concert', together with other paintings of elegant Parisians on display in their loges, by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas and other of his contemporaries. Their shared interest in the spectacle of modern society at the theatre is further explored through an array of printed material, including contemporary fashion magazines and caricatures.

The Royal Opera House has come to an agreement with Odeon, Cityscreen Picturehouse and independent cinemas to screen live and recorded opera and ballet performances at around 60 venues across the country from this autumn. Similar deals have been done in Europe and America. Beginning with The Marriage Of Figaro and Sylvia, 14 productions will be shown each year.

The Rumour Machine says: that Michael Gambon will be joined by David Bradley, and possibly David Walliams, in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, about a wealthy Hampstead aesthete and a shabby penniless poet, directed by current hottie director Rupert Goold, at the Gate Theatre Dublin in August, and subsequently in the West End; that Alan Bennett is working on a new play, which Nicholas Hytner will direct at the National Theatre late this year or early next; and that American lyricist Glenn Slater will provide the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, for which Lloyd Webber has the book credit - it is no longer directly adapted from Frederick Forsyth's novel The Phantom Of Manhattan - but does include a storyline in which the Phantom, who has slipped away to New York and set up a fairground world in Coney Island, organises a concert for Christine, accompanied by her son, who is a musical genius, just like the Phantom, which Jack O'Brien will direct, possibly in the autumn of 2009. The Rumour Machine grinds on.