News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th November 1997

Juliette Binoche is the latest name to be wooed by the Almeida Theatre. She will star in Pirandello's rarely performed Naked, directed by co-artistic director Jonathan Kent. The play tells the story of a woman who attempts suicide when a relationship goes wrong, but is redeemed by meeting a writer, played by Oliver Ford Davies. The production runs from 12th February to 28th March.

The opening of the Almeida production of David Hare's new play The Judas Kiss at the Playhouse has been put back a week to 19th March. Tom Hollander will play Bosie alongside Liam Neeson as Oscar Wilde. Hollander opens at the Almeida in The Government Inspector on 17th December, with co-artistic director Ian McDiarmid, also directed by Jonathan Kent. Small world Islington.

Plans by reputable ticket agents to try to outlaw touts or scalpers reached fruition this week, with the launch of an ABTA style organisation called STAR - the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers. Its aim is to uphold standards and protect consumers, with members abiding by a code of practice. Approved members will be able to display the STAR logo as a guarantee of fair trading, and dissatisfied customers can appeal to an independent monitoring panel, currently being set up with the assistance of the Office of Fair Trading. Eventually it should cover all leisure ticketing, including sport, pop and concerts. For more information dial STAR's Fax On Demand service on 0891 777555, Helpline on 0870 603 9011, or write to PO Box 43, London WC2H 7LD.

Stephen Sondheim's first musical, Saturday Night, has its world premiere at the Bridewell Theatre on 17th December. Written in the fifties, in collaboration with Julius and Philip Epstein, it is about a group of college students. Could there be a good reason why it has not been professionally performed until now? It features Anna Francolini and Sam Newman, and is directed by Carol Metcalfe and Clive Paget.

David Farr's comic tale of love and football set in Watford, Elton John's Glasses, which won the Writers' Guild Best Regional Play Award earlier this year, is looking for a West End transfer, following a return fixture at the Palace in the spring. Terry Johnson is the coach, and Michael Codron and Lee Dean will be the managers.

London's first ever Pantomime Cow Convention will take place on 15th December from 10.30am to 1.00pm, when a large herd will congregate for a moo-ving media photocall. It offers working cows a chance to publicise their pantos, and resting cows an opportunity to promote themselves. If you have a cow (or access to one) or would just like more details, contact James Lovell on 0171 323 3003.

The Rumour Machine says: that business on Pola Jones' tour of Tommy has been so bad that it is being pulled after the next date in Manchester (apparently their West Side Story tour isn't doing much better either); and that the Broadway revival of The King And I is nudging ahead in the race to follow Martin Guerre at the Prince Edward. The Rumour Machine grinds on.