News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th March 2012

Forthcoming productions at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark will include Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, the story of a drag queen searching for love and acceptance, directed by Douglas Hodge, from 30th May; Brandon Thomas's Victorian farce Charley's Aunt, in which an Oxford undergraduate dresses up as his eccentric aunt from Brazil (where the nuts come from) in order to provide a chaperone for himself and fellow student with their lady friends, directed by Ian Talbot, from 20th September; and as previously announced, the musical Merrily We Roll Along, book by George Furth, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, adapted from the play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart, charting the lives of a Broadway show writing partnership and their best friend over a 25 year period, running backwards in time from their disenchanted middle age to optimistic youth, directed by Maria Friedman, from 16th November.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, The Bodyguard a stage musical adaptation of the 1992 film about the relationship between a singer and a man hired to protect her from a stalker, featuring the songs from the movie plus other hits from Whitney Houston's back catalogue, with Heather Headley, directed by Thea Sharrock, will open at the Adelphi Theatre in December. The producers are Michael Harrison and David Ian.

The 2009 Broadway show 9 To 5: The Musical, adapted from the 1980 film about three secretaries taking revenge on their chauvinist boss, book by Patricia Resnick, based on her screenplay, music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, directed by Jeff Calhoun, will open a national tour at the Opera House in Manchester on 12th October. The producers are the Ambassador Theatre Gorup and Bob Bartner.

Let It Be, a multimedia concert showcasing the music and career of The Beatles, will open at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 24th September. The show is a revised version of Rain, which has toured extensively in American and played on Broadway last year. The producers are Jamie Hendry Productions, Annerin Productions, Rain Productions, BB Promotion, MagicSpace Entertainment and Julian Stoneman Associates. The Trey Parker-Matt Stone-Robert Lopez musical The Book Of Mormon, telling the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda, co-directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw, who also choreographed, is expected to open at the Prince of Wales Theatre early next year.

New York TheatreNet: This year's Lincoln Center Festival of music, dance and theatre, will run from July 5th to August 5th, across the Lincoln Center campus. Highlights will include: The National Theatre of Scotland production of Alan Cumming performing a contemporary one man version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by John Tiffany; the Druid theatre company production of Tom Murphy's trilogy of telling the epic tale of Irish emigration from 1846 to 1980, comprising Famine, Conversations On A Homecoming and A Whistle In The Dark, directed by Gary Hines; Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, in a new adaptation by Andrew Upton, with Cate Blanchett, directed by Tamas Ascher; and In Paris, inspired by a short story by Ivan Bunin, a romantic tale told through music, poetry, pantomime and video projection, with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Sinyakina, directed by Dmitry Krymov. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

On The Casting Couch: Original cast members Tom Mison, Joshua McGuire, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Leo Bill, Simon Shepherd, Jolyon Coy, Charlotte Lucas and Richard Goulding will return in the Royal Court Theatre production of Laura Wade's Posh, opening at the Duke of York's Theatre on 23rd May: and Darrell D'Silva, Trevor Fox, Emily Berrington, Beth Cordingly, John MacMillan and Sally Rogers will feature in Matthew Dunster's Children's Children, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 24th May

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, book, music and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, adapted from Charles Dickens's final unfinished murder mystery novel, performed as in a Victorian Music Hall, with the audience voting on 'whodunit', with Wendi Peters, Natalie Day, Daniel Robinson, Loula Geater, David Francis, Denis Delahunt, Richard Stirling, Oliver Mawdsley, Mark Ralston, Paul Hutton, Tom Pepper and Ben Goffe, directed by Matthew Gould, will play at the Landor Theatre, in Clapham, from 11th April. The producer is Aria Entertainment.

This year's Opera Holland Park season will run from 7th June to 4th August, with the City of London Sinfonia as resident orchestra, and will comprise new productions of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, directed by Olivia Fuchs; Mozart's Cosė fan tutte, directed by Harry Fehr; Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, in a double bill with Mascagni's Zanetto, directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans; Tchaikovsky's Yevgeny Onegin, directed by Daniel Slater; and Verdi's Falstaff, directed by Annilese Miskimmon; plus the return of the family opera Fantastic Mr Fox, music by Tobia Picker, libretto by Donald Sturrock, based on Roald Dahl's story, directed by Stephen Barlow. Following the opera season, the Luna Cinema will show a series of films from 15th to 18th August. The Theatre is located in the middle of Holland Park and uses the ruins of Holland House as a backdrop to the performances. Both stage and audience are covered by a canopy. Further information and online booking can be found on the OHP web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Palace Theatre Watford will stage premiere of Our Brother David, written and directed by Anthony Clark, a contemporary story inspired by Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, with Penny Layden, Penny Beaumont, Justin Avoth, Beryl King, Richard O'Callaghan, Michael Lumsden, Camilla Power and Hugh John, opening on 17th April.

The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith will stage Cinderella, by Joel Horwood and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, with Julie Atherton and Steven Webb, directed by Sean Holmes, from 24th November.