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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th January 2017

The premiere of the musical The Braille Legacy, original French book and lyrics by Sebastien Lancrenon, English translation by Ranjit Bolt, music by Jean-Baptiste Saudray, set in 19th century Paris, about the struggle by the young blind man Louis Braille to discover a way for blind people to read, with Jerome Pradon, directed by Tom Southerland, will open at the Charing Cross Theatre, in The Arches under Charing Cross Station, on 24th April.

On The Casting Couch: Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson will be joined by Jessica Brown Findlay, Angus Wright, David Rintoul and Peter Wright in Shakespeare's Hamlet, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 28th February; and Kate Fleetwood, Ralf Little, Kris Marshall, Buffy Davis and Olivia Darnley will feature in Lindsey Ferrentino's Ugly Lies The Bone, opening at the National Theatre on 1st March.

The spring/summer season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds will include in the Quarry Theatre: a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, directed by Amy Leach, from 3rd March; and John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath, the Depression Era tale of a family that leaves its Oklahoma home in search of a new life in California, adapted by Frank Galati, directed by Abbey Wright, from 24th May, a co-production with Nuffield Southampton, Nottingham Playhouse and the Royal & Derngate Northampton; and in the Courtyard Theatre: a contemporary reimagining of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, now more famous as 'My Fair Lady without the songs', directed by Sam Pritchard, opening on 8th February, a co-production with Headlong and Nuffield Theatre Southampton; Terry Johnson's The Graduate, the coming-of-age story adapted from the 1968 Mike Nicholls film based on the novel by Charles Webb, directed by Lucy Bailey, from 28th April; Zodwa Nyoni's Ode To Leeds, fusing music and spoken word to celebrate young poets on a journey from Leeds to New York City, directed by James Brining, from 10th June: and the premiere of Inua Ellams's Barber Shop Chronicles, set in barber shops across Africa, directed by Bijan Sheibani, from 12th July, a co-production with the National Theatre and Fuel.

Northern Ballet's 2017 season will comprise new productions of Casanova, choreographed by Kenneth Tindall, to a score by Kerry Muzzey; The Boy In Striped Pajamas, based on the Holocaust novel by John Boyne, choreographed by Daniel de Andrade, to a score by Gary Yershon; and The Little Mermaid, choreographed by David Nixon, to a score by Sally Beamish; plus the existing production of Beauty And The Beast, choreographed by David Nixon, to music arranged by John Longstaff.

Forthcoming productions at the Rose Theatre in Kingston will include the previously mentioned premiere of Sandi Toksvig's Silver Lining, a comedy about a group of women in a retirement home, with Theo Toksvig, Rachel Davies, Kezia Josephs, Maggie McCarthy, Joanna Munro, Sheila Reid and Amanda Walker, directed by Rebecca Gatward, opening on 8th February; the musical Junkyard, book and lyrics by Jack Thorne, music by Stephen Warbeck, about a miscreant group of teenagers who build an adventure playground in 1970s Bristol, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opening on 19th April; and the premiere of April de Angelis's My Brilliant Friend, a two part adaptation of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan quartet of novels about the lives of two female friends from the 1950s onwards, directed by Melly Still, opening on 11th March.