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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th July 2014

Patrick Marber's Closer, about the relationships of two couples examining betrayal, sex and loneliness in London, with Nancy Carroll, Rufus Sewell and Oliver Chris, directed by David Leveaux, will play at the Donmar Warehouse from February.

J B Priestley's time play Dangerous Corner, in which a chance remark at a party sets off a series of revelations, with Michael Praed, Colin Buchanan, Kim Thomson, Matt Milne, Lauren Drummond and Finty Williams, directed by Michael Attenborough, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 2nd September.

Muse Of Fire, the promenade performance for intrepid families that reveals the story of the original Globe Theatre burning down as participants explore Shakespeare's Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, will return for daytime shows from 18th to 27th August.

The autumn season at the Finborough Theatre, at Earls Court, will include Robert McLellan's The Flouers o'Edinburgh, a period satire on the aftermath of the 1707 Acts of Union, the Scottish Enlightenment and the battle between the Scots and English tongues, directed by Jennifer Bakst, opening on 4th September; Angelina Weld Grimke's Rachel, about the travails of an educated middle class African American woman in the early 20th century, directed by Ola Ince, opening on 2nd October, produced by ABG Productions; and the premiere of Fiona Doyle's Coolatully, a contemporary story in which an Irishman debates if his future lies elsewhere, directed by David Mercatali, opening on 30th October, produced by Papatango Theatre Company.

Northern Broadsides will bring its 'e bah gum' style to Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops To Conquer, the Georgian comedy of class, courtship, mistaken identity and dysfunctional families, with Oliver Gomm, Hannah Edwards, Jon Trenchard, Guy Lewis, Lauryn Redding, Howard Chadwick, Gilly Tompkins, Andrew Price, Alan McMahon, Andrew Whitehead and Robert Took, directed by Conrad Nelson, opening a national tour at The Viaduct Theatre in Halifax on 29th August.

New York TheatreNet: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 26th Festival of New Musicals, featuring staged readings of 8 new works, to be held at New World Stages on 23rd and 24th October. They include: Beautiful Poison, book by Duane Poole, music by Brendan Milburn, lyrics by Valerie Vigoda, a steamy, contemporary New Orleans thriller adapted from Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter; Cubamor, book and lyrics by James D Sasser, music and lyrics by Charles Vincent Burwell, a story of two couples who fall in love across the American-Cuban political, historical and social divide; The Noteworthy Life Of Howard Barnes, book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond, music by Michael Kooman, about a perfectly average man whose life becomes a musical; and String, book by Sarah Hammond, music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, in which a workaholic Greek goddess gets tangled up with a security guard in the basement of the tallest building in the world. News, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway can be found on New York TheatreNet, via the link opposite below.

Marie Jones's Stones In His Pockets, with Conor Delaney and Stephen Jones playing all the characters in the tale of what happens when a remote part of Ireland gets a taste of Hollywood, with the arrival of a film company to shoot a new blockbuster, directed by Ian McElhinney, will open a national tour at Chelmsford Civic Theatre on 8th September. The producers are Jamie Wilson and Paul Elliott in association with Pat Moylan and Adam Kenwright.

The autumn season at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch will include the Raymond Chandleresque murder mystery musical Gunmetal Blues, book by Scott Wentworth, music and lyrics by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler, opening on 2nd September; Ken Ludwig's farce Lend Me A Tenor, about the backstage panic involved in getting an opera superstar on stage in the 1930s, opening on 7th October; and the musical Return To The Forbidden Planet, adapted from the 1957 sci-fi film that relocated the plot of Shakespeare's The Tempest in outer space, and packed with 1950s rock'n'roll classics, written and directed by Bob Carlton, with choreography by Frederick Ruth, opening on 7th November, ahead of a national tour beginning at the Theatre Royal Brighton on 20th January, presented by John Dalston and Richard Darbourne.

On The Casting Couch: Imogen Stubbs, Clare Perkins, Ronni Ancona, Lucian Msamati, Barry McCarthy, Michael Shaeffer, Rez Kempton and Bayo Gbadamosi will feature in Alecky Blythe's Little Revolution, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 3rd September; and Martina Laird, Tanya Moodie and Clare Perkins will feature in Marcus Gardley's The House That Will Not Stand, opening at the Tricycle Theatre on 17th September.

The autumn season at the West Yorkshire playhouse will include in the Quarry: Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which equates the 17th century Salem witch trials to the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigation into communist activity in the 1950s, directed by James Brining, from 29th September; and the musical White Christmas, adapted from the 1954 film, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by David Ives and Paul Blake, from the screenplay by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, in which two Second World War veterans turned song and dance men follow a singing sisters act to a Christmas booking at a Vermont lodge, owned by their former army commander, which is suffering from lack of snow, where love and precipitation conquer all, directed by Nikolai Foster, with choreography by Nick Winston, from 24th November; and in the Courtyard: Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach, about an orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a surreal cross-world adventure with six magically-altered garden bugs, adapted by David Wood; and the return of Raymond Briggs's Father Christmas, directed by Emma Earle, a co-production with the Lyric Hammersmith and Pins And Needles.

The Twickenham Theatre will be launched on 16th September with the musical Sweeney Todd, book by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the Victorian melodrama about the demon barber of Fleet Street, who cut the throats of his customers, whose corpses were then baked into pies in the shop beneath, directed by Derek Anderson.

Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice, adapted by Joannah Tincey as a two hander using only Austen's original words, performed by Tincey and Nicholas Underwood, directed by Abigail Anderson, will open a national tour at Salisbury Playhouse on 18th September. The producers are Two Bit Classics and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.


Opening This Week

Medea - National Olivier
Euripides’s story of a woman who avenges her husband’s betrayal by killing their children, adapted by Ben Power, with Helen McCrory, Danny Sapani and Martin Turner, directed by Carrie Cracknell.
Holy Warriors - Shakespeare’s Globe
David Eldridge’s epic new play charting two millennia of conflict for possession of Jerusalem, from Richard the Lionheart to Hammas, directed by James Dacre.
Shakespeare In Love - Noel Coward
Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen in Lee Hall’s adaptation of the film, in which, tormented by writer’s block and in desperate need of a new hit, Shakespeare wrestles with writing his new play Romeo And Ethel, The Pirate’s Daughter.
The Nether - Royal Court
Amanda Hale, Stanley Townsend, David Beames and Ivanno Jeremiah in Jennifer Haley’s intricate crime drama and a sci-fi thriller in an online virtual world, directed by Jeremy Herrin.


First Nights

21st - Medea - National Olivier
23rd - Shakespeare In Love - Noel Coward
23rd - Holy Warriors - Shakespeare’s Globe
24th - The Nether - Royal Court
28th - Porgy And Bess - Open Air
3rd - Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part 2 - Garrick
5th - My Night With Reg - Donmar Warehouse
6th - King Lear - Shakespeare’s Globe
6th - Hetty Feather - Vaudeville
8th - I Believe In Unicorns - Vaudeville


26th - Fathers And Sons - Donmar Warehouse
2nd - Hotel - National Shed
2nd - Handbagged - Vaudeville
9th - The Nether - Royal Court