News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 31st July 2009

Richard Briers will make his final stage appearance, with Adrian Scarborough and Miriam Margolyes, in Complicite's production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, directed by Simon McBurney, opening at the Duchess Theatre on 24th September. Since it's impossible to summarise any Beckett play, suffice to say this is the one where he's in a wheelchair and his parents are in dustbins.

New York TheatreNet: The Addams Family, a new musical with an original story featuring the macabre characters created by illustrator Charles Addams, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, with Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth, Terrence Mann, Carolee Carmello, Kevin Chamberlin, Jackie Hoffman, Zachary James, Adam Riegler, Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez, directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, with choreography Sergio Trujillo, will open on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, on April 8th.

Katrina, a promenade performance piece aiming to shed new light on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, based on accounts of survivors, written and directed by Jonathan Holmes, with Andrew Dennis, Andrea Harris, Stephanie Langton, Wunmi Mosaku, Joe Speare and Orlando Wells, will play at the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf, on the South Bank, opening on 4th September. The producer is Jericho House.

Opera North's 2009/2010 season, which opens at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on 11th September, will include new productions of Janacek's The Adventures Of Mr Broucek, with John Garham-Hall, directed by John Fulljames, a co-production with Scottish Opera; Massenet's Werther, with Alice Coote and Paul Nilon, directed by Tom Cairns; the premiere of Swanhunter, a family opera based on a Norse myth, music by Jonathan Dove, libretto by Alasdair Middleton, with Andrew Rees, directed by Clare Whistler; Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, directed by Jo Davies; and Donizetti's Maria Stuard, with Sarah Connolly and Antonia Cifrone, directed by Antony McDonald; plus revivals of Tim Albery's production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte; Phyllida Lloyd's production of Puccini's La Boheme; and Olivia Fuchs's production of Dvorak's Rusalka.

Our Day Out - The Musical, adapted from his television film and stage play about a school trip by Willy Russell, music and lyrics by Willy Russell and Bob Eaton, additional music by Chris Mellor, with Andrew Schofield, Mickey Starke, Gillian Hardie, Holly Quin-Ankrah and Bradley Clarkson, directed by Bob Eaton, with choreography by Beverley Norris Edmunds, will receive its premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on 11th September.

A 28m redevelopment of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre is to go ahead, after Arts Council England confirmed 12.8m funding for the project, which, together with grants from other sources, leaves 2m to be raised from the public. Work is expected to commence in the spring of 2011, with a planned completion in 2013. The new building, comprising a 400 seater theatre with a thrust stage, a dedicated space for the Everyman's youth theatre, rehearsal space and production workshops, as well as a bar and restaurant, has been designed by Steve Tompkins. The original Everyman Theatre was created in 1964 in a converted chapel, and rebuilt in 1977.

The autumn season at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry will include The Beggar's Opera, John Gay's 17th century musical tale of a highwayman, re-imagined in the not too distant future, directed by Matthew Lenton, opening on 13th October, a co-production with Vanishing Point and Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in association with Tramway, Glasgow; Jean-Marie Besset's Babylone, a chilling glimpse of how a fleeting relationship can transform a man's life, adapted by David Eldridge, directed by Hamish Glen, opening on 27th October, produced in association with The Fish Partnership; Beauty And The Beast, with Andy Hockley, from 1st December; and Moliere's The Miser, the classic comedy in which a man and his son both become enamoured with the same young woman, in a new version by David Johnston, directed by Hamish Glen, opening on 2nd February;

Giant Olive Theatre Company will stage Joseph Crilly's Kitty & Damnation, about a girl from rural Ireland who becomes infatuated with the actor Edmund Kean and follows him to London, with Amy Molloy, Ruairi Conaghan, Eddie Kingham, Shane Armstrong, Peter Gerald, Hugo Terry, Charlotte McCurry and Aimee Parkes, directed by Rafe Beckley, opening at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town on 13th August.

Scottish Ballet's 2009/2010 season, which opens at Sadler's Wells on 1st October, features a Triple Bill comprising George Balanchine's Rubies, Krzysztof Pastor's In Light & Shadow and William Forsythe's Workwithinwork; and Ashley Page's production of The Nutcracker. The company has just moved into its newly constructed 11m home adjacent to Tramway, the visual and performing arts centre, which comprises 3 rehearsal studios, practice studios, education centre, offices, health and fitness centre, wardrobe, workshop and storage facilities, plus an independent dance centre.

Liberace Live From Heaven, written and directed by Julian Woolford, in which the legendary pianist makes his case at the Pearly Gates, featuring Bobby Crush, will open at the Leicester Square Theatre on 15th October.

The autumn season at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch will include a new musical, The Stripper, book by Carter Brown, music by Richard Hartley, lyrics by Richard O'Brien, adapted from Brown's pulp fiction novel about a detective struggling to solve the mystery of the death of would be actress, with Emma-Jayne Appleyard, Morgan Deare, James Earl Adair, Jack Edwards, Chris Ellis-Stanton, Siubhan Harrison, Richard O'Brien, Sarah Redmond, Gay Soper and Jonathan Wrather, directed by Bob Carlton, with choreography by Liz Marsh, opening a national tour on 1st September, a co-production with the Ambassador Theatre Group; Amanda Whittington's Ladies Day, a comedy in which four women from a fish packing factory treat themselves to a day out at Royal Ascot, opening on 5th October; Emlyn William's A Murder Has Been Arranged, a thriller set at a birthday party on the deserted stage of a Victorian theatre, opening on 2nd November; and Sleeping Beauty, book by Nicholas Pegg, music and lyrics by Carol Sloman, opening on 7th December.

Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show, with David Bedella, directed by Christopher Luscombe, will open a national tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 17th September. The producers are the Ambassador Theatre Group and Bill Kenwright.