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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th April 2015

Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, about Rosalind Franklin, the overlooked British scientist who helped to discover the structure of DNA by taking the photograph that revealed the double helix, with Nicole Kidman, directed by Michael Grandage, will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on 14th September.

The new season at the Old Vic Theatre will comprise the premiere of Tamsin Oglesby's Future Conditional, examining today's education system viewed through myriad eyes, with Rob Brydon, directed by Matthew Warchus, from 1st September; Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape, an expressionist piece condemning the dehumanizing effects of industrialisation, directed by Richard Jones, from 17th October; David Greig's adaptation of Dr Seuss' environmentally aware tale The Lorax, from 2nd December; Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, in a new adaptation by David Hare, the story of a renowned but aging architect obsessed with constructing tall spires, who fears the competition from his younger rivals, with Ralph Fiennes, directed by Matthew Warchus; and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, which explores the relationship between two brothers when a tramp enters their lives, with Timothy Spall, directed by Matthew Warchus. Future productions will include a musical adaptation of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, book by Danny Rubin, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, in which a jaded weatherman is forced to re-live the same day again and again until he re-examines his life and priorities, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling; a dance adaptation of version of Robert Louis Stevenson's gothic novella of transformation Jekyll And Hyde, by Drew McOnie; and Sophocles's Theban trilogy, in a new adaptation by Dennis Kelly.

The musical Cats, adapted from Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats by T S Eliot, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Gillian Lynne, will return for a further 10 week season at the London Palladium from 23rd October.

English National Opera's 2015/2016 season at the London Coliseum will comprise new productions of Wagner's Tristan And Isolde directed by Daniel Kramer; Puccini's La Boheme directed by Benedict Andrews; Peter Glass's Akhnaten directed by Phelim McDermott; Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov; Verdi's The Force Of Destiny directed by Calixto Bieito; and Bellini's Norma directed by Christopher Alden; plus the return of Jonathan Miller's productions of Rossini's The Barber Of Seville, and Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado; Simon McBurney's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, Anthony Minghella's production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly and David Alden's production of Janacek's Jenufa.

Dawn French will perform her biographical show 30 Million Minutes, directed by Michael Grandage, at the Vaudeville Theatre from 11th November to 5th December.

The 121st season of the BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts takes place at the Royal Albert Hall between 17th July and 12th September. The world's greatest classical music festival centres on 75 main concerts (at least one every evening) with consistently low ticket prices, including half price tickets for under 16s, and up to 1,350 'promming' tickets at only £5 each, available every day 30 minutes before the doors open. In addition, there is a series of lunch time Chamber Music Proms at the Cadogan Hall, Late Night Proms, and Proms Plus events, such as pre-prom and composer portrait talks, family orchestra concerts at the Royal College of Music. All concerts are broadcast live on Radio 3, with many televised on BBC4, and available via audio and video webcasts. Among the highlights are Simon Rattle conducting the Vienna Philharmonic's Elgar's The Dream Of Gerontius; Bryn Terfel in Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's Fiddler On The Roof, with the BBC Concert Orchestra; a celebration of music that conjures up the world of Sherlock Holmes, with Mark Gattiss and Christine Rice; and John Wilson and his orchestra showcasing the music of Leonard Bernstein. The Last Night will include the 20th outdoor Proms In The Park, with 35,000 people in Hyde Park, and simultaneous concerts running across the country, plus big screen relays in other cities.

CURTAIN UP!

Opening This Week

American Buffalo - Wyndham’s
Damian Lewis, John Goodman and Tom Sturridge in David Mamet’s play about a trio of third rate crooks in a Chicago pawnshop who plan the theft of a coin collection, directed by Daniel Evans.
A Mad World My Masters - Barbican Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed production of Thomas Middleton’s madcap satirical Jacobean comedy adapted by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, relocating the action to 1950s Soho, directed by Sean Foley.
Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare’s Globe
The small scale touring production of the world’s greatest love story, with Samuel Valentine and Cassie Layton as Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers, directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Tim Hoare.
Everyman - National Olivier
Carol Ann Duffy’s new adaptation of the 15th century morality play examining the attainment of salvation, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Philip Martin Brown, Dermot Crowley, Sharon D Clarke and Kate Duchene, directed by Rufus Norris.
The Merchant Of Venice - Shakespeare’s Globe
Jonathan Pryce, Phoebe Pryce and Dominic Mafham in Shakespeare’s story weighing the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, and justice and mercy, directed by Jonathan Munby.
Beyond Caring - National Temporary
A devised piece about a group of zero hours contract cleaners in a meat factory, with Sean O’Callaghan, Victoria Moseley, Kristin Hutchinson, Janet Etuk and Luke Clarke, directed by Alexander Zeldin.

OVERTURES AND CURTAIN CALLS

First Nights

April
27th - Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare’s Globe
27th - A Mad World My Masters - Barbican Theatre
27th - American Buffalo - Wyndham’s
29th - Everyman - National Olivier
30th - The Merchant Of Venice - Shakespeare’s Globe
May
1st - Beyond Caring - National Temporary
5th - The Audience - Apollo
11th - Beyond Bollywood - London Palladium
11th - Hay Fever - Duke of York’s
13th - Death Of A Salesman - Noel Coward
14th - High Society - Old Vic
19th - The Elephant Man - Haymarket
20th - As You Like It - Shakespeare’s Globe
21st - Peter Pan - Regents Park Open Air

Finales

April
25th - Cats - London Palladium
25th - The Nether - Duke of York’s
May
2nd - Harvey - Haymarket
5th - Behind The Beautiful Forevers - National Olivier
7th - The Vote - Donmar Warehouse
8th - Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare’s Globe
9th - A Mad World My Masters - Barbican Theatre
16th - Beyond Caring - National Temporary
17th - Man And Superman - National Lyttelton
22nd - Golem - Trafalgar Studios 1
23rd - Oppenheimer - Vaudeville
23rd - Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown - Playhouse