News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th June 2002

Kyle MacLachlan and Woody Harrelson are the latest American recruits to the West End, starring in On An Average Day, by John Kolvenbach, opening at the Comedy Theatre on 7th August. MacLachlan and Harrelson play two estranged brothers who are reunited after 15 years, and examines the effect being abandoned by their father has had on their lives. John Crowley directs the two hander, which has only previously been seen at a drama festival in Toronto.

Those who prefer their performers to have four legs will be pleased to hear that Spirit Of The Horse, a celebration of the horse in movement, music, verse and prose is on a national tour. The equine spectacular features 30 horses, including Spanish horsemen on their classic Andalusian mounts, free-style displays by Sir Robert Fossett's Arabian Stallions, and the first appearance in the UK in over 20 years of the Kantemirov Cossack Horsemen from Moscow. The programme includes Carriage driving, Haute Ecole, Dressage and Ballet Des Chevaux Fantasie. Further information can be found from the SOTH web site via the link from the Shows section of TheatreNet.

It's Official 1! As previously forecast here, Elaine Stritch is to bring her autobiographical one woman show to London. Retitled Elaine Stritch - Direct From Broadway it will open a five week run at the Old Vic on 9th October. The show, which is a collection of songs and stories from her career, was devised by John Lahr and directed by George C. Wolfe, and recently won a Tony Award for Best Theatrical Event. It will be presented in London by Sally Greene and Mark Goucher.

The Crucible Theatre Sheffield continues to attract names, with autumn season comprising: Derek Jacobi in The Tempest, directed by Michael Grandage, running from 25th September to 19th October; and Amanda Donohoe as a rock singer in David Hare's Teeth And Smiles, directed by Anna Mackmin, from 30th October to 23rd November; followed by the musical Sweet Charity, with book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, about a New York dance hostess, directed by Timothy Sheader, from 12th December to 25th January.

It's Official 2! As previously forecast here, Iain Glenn will join Glen Close in her London stage debut in Trevor Nunn's long projected National Theatre production of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire. It will open on 8th October for a limited run until 23rd November. Conflict ensues when a 'fragile' Southern belle visits her younger sister and her coarse and aggressive husband in their apartment in a seedy district of New Orleans.

The Soho Theatre is welcoming submissions of full length plays for the Verity Bargate Award, an biennial playwriting competition for British writers with less than three professional productions to their credit. First prize is 1500, representing an option for a production by Soho Theatre Company. The deadline for the arrival of scripts is 31st July. Further information can be found on the Soho Theatre web site via the link from the London Theatres section of TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Kathryn Evans, Louise Gold, Henry Goodman, Diane Langton and Clarke Peters will star in the concert production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies directed by Paul Kerryson at the Royal Festival Hall, from 3rd to 31st August.

David Hare will perform his monologue Via Dolorosa, directed by Stephen Daldry, at the Duchess Theatre for a seven week season from 17th July. Based on his experiences during a visit to the Middle East, Hare plays 33 characters in his exploration of the ongoing conflict. Hare made his stage debut in the piece, which has been previously been seen at the Duke of York's and on Broadway. The producer is Bill Kenwright.

It's Official 3! As previously forecast here, Paul Rhys is to play Chekhov's Ivanov, in a new translation by David Harrower, at the National Theatre from on 10th September. Rhys will be joined by Juliet Aubrey, Robert Bowman, Sarah Flind, Gillian Hanna, Stuart McQuarrie, Bridget Turner, Indira Varma, Philip Voss and Peter Wight, and directed by Katie Mitchell. Chekhov's first full length play establishes his milieu, with a troubled landowner in a domestic and philosophical crisis in pre revolutionary Russia.

The autumn season at the Young Vic comprises: D H Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law, set in a mining town during the strike of 1912, with a man torn between wife, mistress and mother, directed by David Lan, from 12th September to 12th October; King Lear, the inaugural production by the Royal Shakespeare Company Academy, performed by a company of 16 newly graduated drama school students, directed by Declan Donnellan, from 23rd October to 9th November; Sleeping Beauty, based on Perrault's 17th century classic, directed by Rufus Norris, from 22nd November to 25th January; and Beauty Sleeps, a companion studio production of the same story created for children under five, directed by Titania Krimpas, with morning and afternoon performances from 5th to 24th December.

The City Of London Festival, running until 28th August, celebrates its 40th birthday with the usual mixture of lunchtime events, an early evening Commuter Jazz series, and evening concerts, with every kind of music included. Rush Hour events in 12 Wren churches explore the theme of Angels through music, images and the spoken word of all periods. Evening concert performers range from major orchestras through to Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Pan African Orchestra and Stree Shakti. An accompanying programme of walks, talks, visits and exhibitions reveals hidden treasures of the City. Further information can be found on the City of London Festival web site via the link from the Festivals section of TheatreNet.