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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th March 2015

The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Shakespeare's Richard II, with David Tennant, Henry IV Parts I & 2, with Antony Sher, Alex Hassell and Jasper Britton, and Henry V, with Alex Hassell, directed by Gregory Doran, will play in repertoire at the Barbican Theatre from 7th November to 24th January. A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play For The Nation, directed by Erica Whyman, will play at the Barbican in May 2016 as part of a national tour, in which local amateurs will play the mechanicals, and local school children will play the fairies.

Other forthcoming productions at the Barbican Theatre will include Toneelgroep Amsterdam's production of Bart Van den Eynde and Peter Van Kraaij's Kings Of War, combining Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III in one contemporary play, directed by Ivo van Hove; and the Malthouse Theatre's The Shadow King, co-created by Tom E Lewis and Michael Kantor, relocating Shakespeare's King Lear in a remote Australian mining community.

The recent Park Theatre production of William Ivory's Bomber's Moon, about a cantankerous former RAF gunner whose routine is disrupted by the arrival of care assistant, with James Bolam and Steve John Shepherd, directed by Matt Aston, will transfer to Trafalgar Studios 2, opening on 24th April. It is presented by Engine House Theatre in association with Park Theatre.

The Girls, a musical adaptation of The Calendar Girls, book by Tim Firth from his play based on his screenplay of the 2003 film, about the members of the WI who posed for a calendar naked, but with their modesty preserved by artfully placed cakes, knitting and flower arrangements, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow, will premiere at the Grand Theatre in Leeds from 14th November. The producers are David Pugh and Daffyd Rogers.

On The Casting Couch: David Bamber, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Imogen Stubbs, Matthew Cottle and Rachel Tucker will feature in Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors, at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 7th May; and Mark Rylance will be rejoined by Sam Crane and Iestyn Davies in Claire Van Kampen's Farinelli And The King, opening at the Duke of York's Theatre on 29th September.

Rive Productions will stage the premiere of Jessica Sian's Klippies, about two very different teenagers who form an unlikely alliance in contemporary South Africa, directed by Chelsea Walker, opening at the Southwark Playhouse, at the Elephant and Castle, on 18th May.

Iris Theatre will return to the Churchyard of St Paul's Covent Garden, the Actors' Church, with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed by Vik Sivalingham, from 24th June to 24th July; and Pinocchio, by Daniel Winder and Candida Caldicott, from 29th July to 29th August.

And Finally . . . A site specific production of Nick Harrison's The Eighth Wonder Of The World, directed by Martin Parr, will be staged in the Rotherhithe tunnel-shaft constructed under the Thames by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his father to access the first ever underwater tunnel, from 8th to 14th June. The play recreates the event that took place on 10th November 1827, as the Brunels are preparing to host a party for 170 guests in the tunnel-shaft as a public relations event, following several recent disasters, including a major flood that halted construction.


Opening This Week

Oppenheimer - Vaudeville
The Royal Shakespeare Company production of Tom Morton-Smith’s acclaimed new play revealing the personal cost of the development of the atomic bomb, with John Heffernan, Thomasin Rand and Catherine Steadman.


First Nights

31st - Oppenheimer - Vaudeville
14th - The Twits - Royal Court
15th - Gypsy - Savoy
22nd - Golem - Trafalgar Studios 1
23rd - Light Shining In Buckinghamshire - National Lyttelton
24th - The Vote - Donmar Warehouse


4th - Closer - Donmar Warehouse
4th - Dara - National Lyttelton
8th - Treasure Island - National Olivier
11th - The Ruling Class - Trafalgar Studios 1
11th - Clarence Darrow - Old Vic
11th - My Night With Reg - Apollo
11th - Made In Dagenham - Adelphi
11th - The View From The Bridge - Wyndham’s
18th - Dido, Queen Of Carthage - Wanamaker
18th - The Broken Heart - Wanamaker
18th - Shakespeare In Love - Noel Coward
25th - Cats - London Palladium
25th - The Nether - Duke of York’s