News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th September 2012

The Arcola Theatre, in Dalston, will stage the British premiere of the musical Sweet Smell Of Success, book by John Guare, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Craig Carnelia, based on the 1957 film about a powerful Broadway gossip columnist who uses his influence to scupper his sister's relationship with an unsuitable man, with David Bamber, Adrian der Gregorian, Caroline Keiff, Celia Graham and Stuart Matthew Price, directed by Mehmet Ergen, with choreography by Nathan M Wright, opening on 14th November.

Forthcoming productions at the Landor Theatre, in Clapham, will include Hot Mikado, the 1940s jazz and swing version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, book and lyrics adapted by David H Bell, music adapted and arranged by Rob Bowman, directed by Robert McWhir, with choreography by Robbie O'Reilly, opening on 11th November, produced by Theatrica; and the musical A Winter's Tale, book Nick Stimson, music and lyrics by Howard Goodall, inspired by Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, directed by Andrew Keates, with musical staging by Cressida Carre, opening on 12th November, produced by Arion Productions.

Tamara Rojo has announced her inaugural season as artistic director of English National Ballet, which will include the mixed programmes Ecstasy And Death, comprising the premiere of Petite Mort by Jiri Kylian, Le Jeunne Homme et la Mort by Roland Petit, and Etudes by Harald Lander; and A Tribute To Rudolf Nureyev, comprising Michel Fokine's Petrushka, Maurice Bejart's Song Of A Wayfarer and Nureyev's Raymonda, Act III; Derek Deane's in the round production of Swan Lake; the premiere of My First Cinderella, by George Williamson, aimed at children aged three and over; and Rojo performing as Aurora and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the already announced productions of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

New York TheatreNet: Tennessee Williams's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, set at a birthday celebration during which hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family, with Scarlett Johansson, Benjamin Walker, Ciaran Hinds and Debra Monk, directed by Rob Ashford, will open on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 17th January. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

The reopening season at Oldham Coliseum after its 2m refurbishment programme will include Cinderella, with Fine Time Fontayne, Richard J Fletcher, Liz Carney and Justine Bailey, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 24th November; Charles Dickens's David Copperfield, adapted by Alastair Cording, directed by Kevin Shaw, from 8th February; Alan Ayckbourn's Sugar Daddies, about role-playing, first impressions, and how people tend to want to re-invent themselves, directed by Robin Herford, from 13th March, a co-production with Harrogate Theatre; and Alan Plater's play with music Blonde Bombshells Of 1943, about a Second World War all girl band (one of whom is a man), directed by Kevin Shaw, from 12th April.

On The Casting Couch: Sally Ann Triplett, Lucy Montgomery, Bill Ward, Simon Slater, Sally Dexter, Tamara Wall and Hannah John-Kamen will head the cast of Viva Forever!, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre on 11th December.

Shakespeare's London Theatreland: Archaeology, History And Drama by Julian Bowsher, recently published by Museum Of London Archaeology, is guide to the unique theatrical venues of London, from 1567, when the first playhouse was built, to 1642, when Parliament closed the theatres down. It sets out the rich dramatic history of the period in relation to the latest exciting archaeological evidence. The book also details the people involved - the builders, actors, playwrights and audiences - what they wore and what they ate, where they drank, where they fought, where they lived and died. There are theatrical quotes and jokes, and many illustrations old and new, plus a series of walks exploring areas of today's London, where glimpses of Shakespeare's London can still be caught.

Sooty will return to the West End in a new show, Sooty In Space, with Richard Cadell, which features a 3D The Flight To Mars, playing at the Duchess Theatre from 21st December to 5th January.

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Broadway Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Betty Buckley and Sam Waterston, director Trevor Nunn, playwrights Christopher Durang and Paula Vogel, and artistic directors Andre Bishop and Michael Kahn, with costume designer Martin Pakledinaz inducted posthumously. The 42nd annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on January 28th. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

Punchdrunk is to stage The House Where Winter Lives, created and written by Peter Higgin, an immersive storytelling show set in a magical frozen forest, for 3 to 6 year olds, with Matthew Blake and Fran Moulds, at Discover Children's Story Centre, in Stratford E15, opening on 4th December.

The Christmas season at Northampton Theatres will include Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, directed by Gary Sefton, in the Royal Theatre from 28th November; Cinderella, with Bobby Davro and Denise Welch, in the Derngate Theatre from 7th December; and Humbug!, an interactive Victorian Christmas adventure for children, directed by Dani Parr, in the Underground from 11th December.