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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th September 2018

9 To 5 The Musical, adapted from the 1980 film about three secretaries taking revenge on their chauvinist boss, with a book by Patricia Resnick, based on her screenplay, and music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, with Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies, Natalie McQueen and Brian Conley, directed by Jeff Calhoun, with choreography by Lisa Stevens, will play at the Savoy Theatre from 28th January.

Donmar Warehouse will stage Lynn Nottage's Sweat, exploring how America reached its current divided political climate, directed by Lynette Linton, opening on 12th December; and Berberian Sound Studio, based on the 2012 film by Peter Strickland, in which a sound engineer's work for an Italian horror studio in the 1970s becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art, adapted by Joel Horwood and Tom Scut, who also directs, with Tom Brooke, Enzo Cilenti and Tom Espiner, from 8th February.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2019 season in Stratford upon Avon will comprise in the Main House: Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Kimberley Sykes, The Taming Of The Shrew, directed by Justin Audibert, and Measure For Measure, directed by Gregory Doran, performed in a reconfigured auditorium with extended circles, by a repertory company of 27; and in the Swan Theatre: the premiere of John Kani's Kunene And The King, marking 25 years since the first post-Apartheid democratic elections, with Antony Sher and John Kani, directed by Janice Honeyman, John Vanbrugh's Restoration comedy The Provoked Wife, directed by Phillip Breen, and Thomas Otway's Restoration tragedy Venice Preserved, directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah.

The original production of Mary Poppins, the stage musical adaptation of the 1964 film, based on the stories of P L Travers of a nanny in Victorian London, book by Julian Fellowes, with original score by Richard and Robert Sherman augmented by composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, with Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp, directed by Richard Eyre, co-directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, co-choreographed by Stephen Mear, will return to the Prince Edward Theatre in the autumn of next year.

The Messiah, written and directed by Patrick Barlow, additional material by John Ramm, Jude Kelly and Julian Hough, about a group of actors who come together to tell the story of the nativity, with Hugh Dennis, Lesley Garrett and John Marquez, will play at The Other Palace in Victoria from 3rd December.

London Open House, the annual scheme to allow the public into architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, takes place on 22nd and 23rd September. Over 800 locations will include some of theatrical interest, such as the Arcola, Bridge, London Coliseum, National, Royal Opera House, Shaftesbury, Unicorn, Wilton's Music Hall and Young Vic theatres; Royal Albert, St John's Smith Square and Wigmore concert halls; Alexandra Palace, Battersea Arts Centre, Fairfield, Hoxton Hall and Rambert Dance Studios; Granada Wandsworth, Phoenix and Rio cinemas, and Sands Film Studio & Rotherhythe Picture Research Library; London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Royal Academy of Music. There will also be talks, conducted walks and other accompanying events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. Entrance is free, but because of limited access, a few of the buildings require prebooking. Further information can be found on the London Open House web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet