News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th August 2002

Edinburgh Fringe Report 1: The Festival's over and the survivors are preparing to head south. Previously announced London transfers are: Ross Noble: Sonic Waffle to the Vaudeville; David Grieg's Outlying Islands - bird watching, romantic discovery and anthrax - to the Royal Court; and The Secret Death Of Salvador Dali - a surreal adventure based on the life of the painter - to the Soho. Definites are: Alan Davies and Marcia Warren in Morris Paynch's Aunty And Me - a nephew visits his apparently dying aunt - to an unnamed West End theatre; Greig Coetzee's Happy Natives - a portrait of the new South Africa - and Tamasha Theatre Company's Ryman And The Sheikh - myth meets street cred - and Theatre of Science's Sleek Geeks - weird concepts and survival tips from Downunder - to the Soho; and Anthony Neilson's Stitching - a couple playing out their sexual fantasies - to the Bush. Plus of course the nominees and winners of the Perrier Awards in the annual Pick Of The Fringe season at Her Majesty's on Sundays in October.

Edinburgh Fringe Report 2: Almost certain to transfer are: Jerry Springer - The Opera - trailer trash sing their stories; The Bomb-itty Of Errors - the New York rap version of Shakespeare's twin twin comedy; and Rona Munro's Iron - a mother and daughter prison drama. Possibles are: The Laramie Project - about the murder of a gay college student; White Side Story - three clowns tell a morality tale in dance, mime and music. And finally, if there was any justice it would: The Complete Lost Works Of Samuel Beckett As Found In An Envelope (Partially Burned) In A Dustbin In Paris Labelled 'Never To Be Performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I'll Sue! I'll Sue From The Grave!!!'

The Mysteries, the South African interpretation of the Chester Mystery Plays, is to make a return visit to Wilton's Music Hall. A multiracial cast of 40, employing song, dance and 7 different languages, performs the Spier Festival Company production, which combines African and European traditions. It will play in repertoire with a new show Ibali Loo for a season from 10th October to 14th December.

Sotheby's is to hold a Stage and Screen auction at its Olympia premises in December, and is currently seeking production used props and costumes, autographed material, and promotional items related to film, television, theatre and music. If you have any treasures that you want to turn into cash, contact Sotheby's by 1st October. As a guide, they have an original mask/cowl made for Michael Keaton in the 1989 Batman film, which is estimated to fetch 1500 to 2000. Start turning out the loft now.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Anything Goes will be Trevor Nunn's last musical at the National Theatre, running continuously in the Olivier Theatre from 11th December to 8th February, and then in repertoire until the end of March. The story of romance and gangster intrigue on a transatlantic liner, with a book by Guy Bolton and PG Wodehouse, it contains some of Cole Porter's best known songs. Despite speculation, no casting is definite yet.

The 24th Dance Umbrella, this year starting earlier and running longer than usual, from 10th September to 3rd November, presents the best of national and international contemporary dance at venues across London. Highlights include one world and three UK premieres from Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and a European premiere from Deborah Colker at the Barbican; Bedlam Dance Company in a 10th anniversary celebratory mixed programme, and Felix Ruckert blurring the boundaries between performer and audience with Ring at The Place; Siobhan Davis back after a two year absence with a new work at the Victoria Miro Gallery; and Inbal Pinto Dance Company reprising their magical award winning Oyster at the Bloomsbury. Full details of programmes and venues can be found on the Dance Umbrella web site via the link from the Festivals section of TheatreNet.

Timothy West is to play King Lear in an English Touring Theatre production directed by Stephen Unwin, opening at Malvern Theatre on 23rd September, and playing across the country until mid December.

Dorothy Fields Forever, the showcase of the songs of lyricist Dorothy Fields, who worked with most of the great show composers from Jerome Kern to Cy Coleman, is to make history by becoming the first transfer from the King's Head Theatre to New York. Subject to the finance being raised, it will have an open ended run Off Broadway at the 91st Street Theatre. The show is devised and directed by David Kernan, doyen of the genre since he created Side By Side By Sondheim.

The 25th anniversary production of Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party, the final production in the present Hampstead Theatre building before a new 15m theatre opens next year, has extended its run to 9th November, and will transfer to the West End in December. The ultimate embarrassing party experience stars Elizabeth Berrington Rosie Cavaliere, Wendy Nottingham, Jeremy Swift and Steffan Rhodri, and is directed by David Grindley.

You know it makes sense! The chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee of Manhattan Council is introducing legislation which would prohibit the use of mobile phones in "places where the public assemble to witness cultural, recreational or educational activities". How much longer do we have to wait for this in London?

The Rumour Machine says: that despite its wholly British terms of reference, The Play What I Wrote, which returns to the West End in October, will transfer to Broadway at the Shubert Theatre (current home of Chicago!) in March; that Dien Perry, the creator of Tap Dogs - the eight guys tapping on a building site show - is working on a follow up, which may draw on his less successful Steel City (seen in America); and that Andrew Lloyd Webber's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound Of Music, touted for a return to its original home of the Palace Theatre, may now go the Victoria Palace in March instead, as Les Miserables clings on in Cambridge Circus. The Rumour Machine grinds on.