News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th August 2009

Italian magician, actor and quick-change artist Arturo Brachetti will premiere his latest show Arturo Brachetti - Change, telling the story of a legendary artiste of the golden age of cabaret whose memories of his career come to life, written and directed by Sean Foley, at the Garrick Theatre on 26th October. During the course of the show Brachetti will depict over 100 characters, both real and fictional, from James Bond to the Queen via Johnny Rotten. The producer is Just For Laughs.

Greenwich Theatre has formed a partnership with DVD production company Stage On Screen, to stage and record a series of classic plays. Initially, Stage On Screen will contribute 160,000 to the staging costs of Greenwich's productions of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Restoration comedy The School For Scandal, opening on 1st October, and Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, opening on 6th October, both directed by Elizabeth Freestone, which will then play in repertoire. In addition, the theatre will receive a royalty on the sales of the DVDs. This will be repeated next spring with productions of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, which concerns blackmail after a lady's indiscretion, the evidence for which is the eponymous fan, and Ben Jonson's Volpone, a satire of greed and lust.

The autumn season at the Palace Theatre Watford will include Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should, exploring the changing roles and expectations of mothers and daughters, through the lives of four generations of women in one family, directed by Brigid Larmour, opening on 29th September; and Cinderella, directed by Kate Saxon, opening on 1st December.

Forthcoming productions at New End Theatre in Hampstead will include Rachel Sternberg and Jemma Wayne's Negative Space, about a family paralysed by the disappearance of their daughter/sister 10 years earlier, directed by Tom Hunsinger, from 15th September; a Tennessee Williams triple bill, comprising Talk To Me Like The Rain, where a couple try to cling to each other when there is little left in their relationship, This Property Is Contemned, about a young girl who has worked out a survival strategy as her friend looks helplessly on, and The Lady Of Larkspur Lotion, in which a faded Southern belle tries gamely to maintain a facade of gentility, with Susannah York, directed by Ninon Jerome, opening on 28th September; and Chris Burgess's musical Hetty Feinstein's Wedding Anniversary, a comic tale set in the Bronx during the preparations leading up to a Pearl wedding celebration, with Sue Kelvin and David Burt, from 14th October.

As the picnic hampers and travel rugs are packed away for another year, Glyndebourne Touring Opera takes to the road until December, following a launch mini season of performances on its home turf from 13th to 31st October. The repertoire comprises: this season's new production of Verdi's Falstaff, with Jonathan Veira, directed by Richard Jones; Nikolaus Lehnhoff's 1989 production of Janacek's Jenufa, with Giselle Allen and Anne Mason; and Nicholas Hytner's 2006 production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte.

The next production at the Landor Theatre in Clapham, will be the musical Into The Woods, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, with Lori Haley Fox, Leo Andrew, Sue Appleby, Jessica Boshier, Tricia Deighton, Ian Dring, Jonathan Eio, Luke Fredericks, Sarah Head, Kellie Higgins, Ryan Ford Iosco, Andrew Keats, Judith Paris, Jenny Perry, Frank Simms and Rebecca Wicking, directed by Robert McWhir, with choreography by Robbie O'Reilly, opening on 22nd September.

The autumn season at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury will include Willy Russell's Educating Rita, the comedy about a hairdresser who decides to take an Open University course in English Literature with a bored professor, directed by Jamie Glover, from 8th October; and Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach, adapted by David Wood, in which a boy enters a giant peach and goes on a magical journey half way round the world with the insects he meets there, from 26th November.

Forthcoming productions at the Tabard Theatre in Turnham Green will include Greg Freeman's Doig - The Musical (with no singing, no dancing and very little music), a farce about a man who has become a victim of the corporate, capitalist, consumerist 21st century and wants a way out - but can't find one, directed by Ken McClymont, opening on 2nd September; Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, with Amelia Clay, Sam Donnelly, Gareth Fordred, Alexander Guiney, Austin Hardiman, Max Krupski, Mark Leipacher, Tom Shaw, Micky McMahon, Derval Mellett, Daniel Millar and Kate Sawyer, directed by Mark Leipacher, from 22nd September, a co-production with The Faction; Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector, adapted by Adrian Mitchell, about a corrupt small town mayor who mistakes a penniless nobody for an undercover government inspector, from 13th October, produced by Gravel Theatre Company and Hairy Back; and David Stuart Davies's Sherlock Homes - The Last Act, a one man play examining the character of the famous detective, performed by Roger Llewellyn, directed by Gareth Armstrong, from 24th November, a Makin Projects production.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park production of the Jerry Herman-Michael Stewart musical Hello Dolly, featuring Samantha Spiro may be West End bound; that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury will star in the Broadway transfer of the recent Menier Chocolate Factory production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical A Little Night Music, opening in December; and that Michael Sheen will play the angry middle aged man in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence in the West End early next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.