News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th August 2017

Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Tom Hiddleston, Kathryn Wilder, Nicholas Farrell, Lolita Chakrabarti and Sean Foley, directed by Kenneth Branagh, will play at the Vanbrugh Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, in Bloomsbury, from 1st to 23rd September, to raise funds for RADA's redevelopment campaign.

The King's Head Theatre in Islington, London's first pub theatre, is to move to a new 5.6m location in the nearby Islington Square development. Designed by architect Graham Currie, it will comprise a 250 seater main auditorium and an 85 seater studio, which will open late next year. The current 110 seater space at the King's Head, at the back of the pub, will become a dining area.

The autumn season at Sheffield Theatres will include in the Crucible: Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under The Elms, charting the consequences of lust and greed on a dysfunctional family in 1850s America, with Aoife Duffin, Matthew Kelly, Me'sha Bryan, Emma Darlow, Theo Ogundipe, Sule Rimi and Michael Shea, directed by Sam Yates, opening on 25th September; and the musical The Wizard Of Oz, adapted by John Kane from the 1939 film based on L Frank Baum's Oz stories, music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E Y Harburg, directed by Robert Hastie, opening on 13th December; in the Lyceum: Mother Goose, with Damian Williams, Jake Canuso and Andy Day, directed by Paul Hendy, opening on 9th December; and in the Studio: Anton Chekov's Uncle Vanya, in a new version by Peter Gill, a story of unrequited love, dogged perseverance, and the strength of the human spirit, with Jamie Ballard, Robert Blythe, Oliver Dimsdale and Sharan Morgan, directed by Tamara Harvey, opening on 19th October.

On The Casting Couch: Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire will be joined by Rachel Stirling in James Graham's Labour Of Love, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 25th September; Samantha Bond will head the cast of Florian Zeller's The Lie, opening at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 27th September; and Bryan Cranston will be joined by Michelle Dockery in Lee Hall's adaptation of Network, opening at the National Theatre on 13th November.

The new season at the Unicorn Theatre at London Bridge will include Beowulf, in a new adaptation by Chris Thorpe, directed by Justin Audiber, from 1st October; the return of Margery Williams's The Velveteen Rabbit, the story of a shy toy rabbit who longs to be loved and become real, directed by Purni Morell, from 17th November; Wild Life FM, a play-gig-radio show exploring the idea of self-discovery, devised and directed by Pol Heyvaert with Kim Nobl, from 12th January; Ignace Cornelissen's reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Othello for younger audiences, directed by Ian Nicholson, from 3rd February; Beginners, written and directed by Tim Crouch, about three families trapped in a holiday cottage during a summer holiday, from 20th March; and Five Easy Pieces, in which children aged 9 to 14 recreate the interviews and statements of those affected by serial killer Marc Dutroux, created and directed by Milo Rau, from 27th April.

The Liverpool Everyman Theatre will continue with a repertory company of 14 next year with a season from March comprising the musical Paint Your Wagon, book and lyrics by Alan J. Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, set in the Californian Gold Rush of the 1850s, directed by Gemma Bodinetz; Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, the 1960s dystopian vision of the future, directed by Nick Bagnall; Shakespeare's Othello, directed by Gemma Bodinetz; and Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, an epic journey in search of fame and fortune, in a new version by Bob Farquhar, directed by Nick Bagnall.