Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
Tangomania hits London! Tango Pasion is to play a ten week season at the Lyric Theatre from 26th May. The Argentinean company, choreographed by Hector Zaraspe, returns to the West End, following its recent appearance at the London Palladium as part of a national tour. It is presented by Flying Music.
Meanwhile the Roundhouse is being transformed for the Argentinean dance spectacular De La Guarda. A South American carnival environment is being created to house the company which caused a sensation at LIFT 1997, and has just completed an American tour. The show will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to join in, with live music and a late bar. It runs from 18th May to 4th July.
Alan Ayckbourn's latest death defying theatrical feat is House And Garden. These are two comedies, featuring the same characters, whose action take place simultaneously, in both the auditoria of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Like his earlier trilogy The Norman Conquests, the plays can be seen singly and in no particular order. They run from 12th June to 10th July.
More details on the New Ambassadors theatre season. The Out of Joint residency will comprise of two plays directed by Max Stafford Clark. Mark Ravenhill's Some Explicit Polaroids, from 1st September to 9th October, centres on the lives of "global players" - media magnates, celebrities and financial traders, for whom there are no national barriers. This will be a co-production with Cambridge Theatre Company and Mercury Colchester. Simon Bennett's first play Drummers, from 13th October to 20th November, is set in the seedy world of two brothers who are burglars (or drummers) and the business associates who fence their gear. Both plays will tour prior to London. Frantic Assembly's production of Sell Out, with book and lyrics by Michael Wynne and music by Andy Cleeton, will play late nights from 31st May to 4th July.
Stephanie Beacham and Sean Maguire are to star in a new play by veteran comedy writer Terence Frisby. Funny About Love opens at the Yvonne Arnaud Guildford on 18th May, prior to a national tour, and possibly the West End. The premise is: when husband leaves wife for secretary, secretary's husband arrives on doorstep of wife. It is directed by Gwen Watford and produced by Paul Farrah.
Men in tutus return to the UK! Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo have just started a regional tour, and will play a three week London season at the Peacock Theatre from 8th September, celebrating their twenty fifth anniversary. The all male company perform gems from the classical repertoire danced as only they can. IMG Artists is presenting the tour.
The second Paul Hamlyn Week at the National Theatre will take place from Monday 28th June to Saturday 3rd July. Thanks to a donation of £200,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, people who have never been to the National before have the opportunity to buy top price tickets for just £5 and others for £1, for performances of Candide, The Merchant Of Venice, Money, Private Lives and Sleep With Me. There will be two special shows for children: Bedtime Stories and Word Up.
Eddie Izzard is to play Lennie Bruce in the West End. Peter Hall will direct Izzard in Lennie, a play with music, based on the book by Julian Barry about the notorious American comedian. It is scheduled for a three month run at the Queens Theatre from 9th August.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company has caught the millennium bug. Almost inevitably, the "other" RSC's latest work is Millennium - The Musical One Thousand Years In One Hundred Minutes. The show is about to tour, and a West End visit surely cannot be ruled out.
The Rumour Machine says: that the Almeida Theatre is already looking for a West End transfer for Wallace Shawn's unusual comedy Aunt Dan And Lemon, with Miranda Richardson and Glenne Headly, when the run ends on 5th June; that Maggie Smith will star in Alan Bennett's new play The Lady In The Van, about the woman who lived in a camper van in his drive, to be directed by Nicholas Hytner; and that Emma Fielding will join Michael Sheen in the National Theatre's revival of John Osborne's seminal kitchen sink drama Look Back In Anger in July. The Rumour Machine grinds on.