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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th August 2017

The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Opera House will stage Opera: Passion, Power And Politics, an exhibition telling the story of opera from its origins in late-Renaissance Italy to the present day. It centres on seven premieres in seven cities: Venice and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, 1642; London and Handel's Rinaldo, 1711; Vienna and Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, 1786; Milan and Verdi's Nabucco, 1842; Paris and Wagner's Tannhauser 1861; Dresden and Richard Strauss's Salome, 1905; and St Petersburg and Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk, 1934. Opening on 30th September, it will be the inaugural exhibition in the new subterranean gallery built as part of the Exhibition Road Project.

On The Casting Couch: Samantha Bond will be joined by Tony Gardner, James Dreyfus and Alexandra Gilbreath in Florian Zeller's The Lie, opening at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 27th September; and John Heffernan Gawn Grainger, Jeff Rawle and Tamzin Griffin will head the cast of Rory Mullarkey's Saint George And The Dragon, opening at the National Theatre on 11th October

The autumn season at Salisbury Playhouse will include Harold Pinter's Betrayal, the semi autobiographical play about adultery, whose story unfolds backwards, with Kirsty Besterman, Robert Hands, Donavan Imber and Robert Mountford, directed by Jo Newman, from 7th September; Graham Linehan's stage adaptation of The Ladykillers, the legendary 1950s Ealing comedy film about a criminal gang posing as musicians in the house of a dotty old lady, with Steven Elliott, Graham Seed, Sam Lupton, Damian Williams, Anthony Dunn, Marcus Houdon and Ann Penfold, directed by Peter Rowe, from 31st October; and Jack And The Beanstalk, written and directed by Ryan McBryde, with choreography by Nicky Griffiths, from 2nd December.

Forthcoming shows at the Tabard Theatre in Turnham Green will include Karoline Leach's Tryst, a thriller about a hustler whose con goes wrong, directed by Phoebe Barran, from 5th October; and Leon Parris's Bananaman The Musical, featuring the cartoon not so super hero 'Man Of Peel', from 30th November.

The autumn season at Oldham Coliseum will include Oh! What A Lovely War, the musical documentary about the First World War, created by original director Joan Littlewood and members of the company, from Charles Chilton's radio documentary, with Isobel Bates, Matt Connor, Richard J Fletcher, Jeffrey Harmer, Barbara Hockaday, Anthony Hunt, Thom Petty, Lauryn Redding, Reece Richardson and David Westbrook, directed by Kevin Shaw, with choreography by Beverley Edmunds, from 8th September; John Godber's Up 'n' Under, a comedy about a poorly performing rugby team who flourish when they get taken in hand by a female gym instructor, with Matt Connor, Richard J Fletcher, Jeffrey Harmer, Anthony Hunt, Lauryn Redding and Reece Richardson, directed by Chris Lawson, from 6th October; and Dick Whittington, written by Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw, with Ralph Birtwell, Liz Carney, Richard J Fletcher, Fine Time Fontayne, Shorelle Hepkin, Miley Rose, Nina Shadi and Simeon Truby, directed by Kevin Shaw, with choreography by Beverley Edmunds, from 11th November.

And Finally . . . The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Richard Stilgoe roller skating proscenium arch busting mega musical Starlight Express is to play 3 workshop performances at the 312 seater studio theatre The Other Palace in Victoria from 14th September.