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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th July 2015

Peter James's The Perfect Murder, adapted by Shaun McKenna, a dark comedy thriller about a man who plans to murder his wife but gets a nasty surprise, with Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace, directed by Ian Talbot, will open a national tour at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham on 2nd February.

The recent St James Theatre production of James Phillip's McQueen, a fantasy about the life of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, with Stephen Wight, Carly Bawden, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Laura Rees and Michael Bertenshaw, directed by John Caird, will be remounted at the Haymarket Theatre, opening on 27th August.

The autumn season at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off Piccadilly, will include the musical See What I Wanna See, book, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, adapted from three short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa examining the nature of truth and how it is changed by perspective, directed by Adam Lenson, opening on 11th September; Eugene O'Neill's The First Man, examining the challenges of parenting and the conflicts that can fester between parents and their children, directed by Anthony Biggs, from 6th October; and Ruby Rae Spiegel's Dry Land, exploring an unlikely friendship that is put to the most extreme of tests in a Florida high school, from 3rd November.

Stephen King's The Shawshank Redemption, adapted by Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns, in which a man serving two life sentences finds hope through friendship with a fellow inmate, with Ian Kelsey and Patrick Robinson, directed by David Esbjornson, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal in Windsor on 18th August.

The Union Theatre, in Southwark, will stage the musical Our House, book by Tim Firth, using songs of the 1980s band Madness, offering two different versions of a north London boy's life told at the same time, as he makes a choice of either right or wrong in deciding to commit a crime, with Steven France, Ailsa Davidson, Dominic Brewer, Sally Samad, Joseph Giacone, Joe Ashman, Claire Learie, Chanice Alexander-Burnett, Rhys Owen and Jay Osborne, directed by Michael Burgen, with choreography by William Whelton, opening on 21st August.

A report published by Arts Council England in conjunction with the Creative Industries Federation, has revealed that total turnover in the arts and culture sector in 2013 was £15.1bn, up from £12.4bn in 2011. Looking at the gross value added - financial output minus the cost to produce the output - the sector contributed £7.7bn in in 2013, 36% more than in 2011. The performing arts emerged as the second most productive sub-sector behind book publishing, accounting for more than a quarter of arts and culture turnover in 2013. It was also revealed that every worker in 'support activities to the performing arts' - including directors, designers and backstage staff - contributed an average £105,700 each to the economy in 2013, an increase of 230% on figures from 2009. The report highlights that for each pound of public funding paid to ACE's national portfolio organisations, the arts and culture sector pays back £5 in tax contributions. It thus underlines the fact that the arts and the creative industries are absolutely central to the British economy.

Forthcoming productions at the Rose Playhouse in Bankside will include August Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata, presenting a picture of a fallen world based on illusions and deceptions, directed by Charlotte Ive, opening on 6th August; and Reckless!, written and directed by Rebecca Rodgers, an epic story of outrageous love and forbidden joy, exploring the timeless matters of the heart, from 3rd September.


Opening This Week

Three Days In The Country - National Lyttelton
John Simm, Amanda Drew, Mark Gatiss, Lynn Farleigh and Gawn Grainger in Patrick Marber’s new adaptation of A Month In The Country, Ivan Turgenev’s comedy of provincial manners in Tsarist Russia.
Aliens Love Underpants - Dominion
Adam Bampton-Smith’s madcap adaptation of Claire Freedman and Ben Cort’s children’s tale of mischievous smalls-stealing Martians, with Abigail Carter-Simpson, Eve Pearson-Wright, Alex James Ellison and Mark Collier.
I Believe In Unicorns - Vaudeville
Michael Morpurgo’s story about a boy who hates school and reading whose life is turned upside down by a meeting in his local library, adapted and presented in a tour de force performance by Danyah Miller.


First Nights

28th - Three Days In The Country - National Lyttelton
1st - I Believe In Unicorns - Vaudeville
1st - Aliens Love Underpants - Dominion
3rd - Dear Lupin - Apollo
4th - Splendour - Donmar Warehouse
5th - The Three Little Pigs - Palace
5th - The Heresy Of Love - Shakespeare’s Globe
7th - Hetty Feather - Duke of York’s
10th - Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare’s Globe
17th - Macbeth - Shakespeare’s Globe


25th - To Kill A Mockingbird - Barbican Theatre
25th - Brainstorm - National Temporary
25th - Richard III - Shakespeare’s Globe
25th - Temple - Donmar Warehouse
25th - The Audience - Apollo
1st - Constellations - Trafalgar Studios 1
1st - Hay Fever - Duke of York’s
8th - The Elephant Man - Haymarket
20th - The Motherf**ker With The Hat - National Lyttelton
22nd - High Society - Old Vic