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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th February 2017

Tennessee Williams's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, set at a birthday celebration during which hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family, with Sienna Miller and Jack O'Connell, directed by Benedict Andrews, will open at the Apollo Theatre on 24th July.

Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist, a comedy following a University don anguishing over sex, marriage, anagrams and the meaning of life, with Matt Berry, Simon Bird, Lily Cole, Charlotte Ritchie and Tom Rosenthal, directed by Simon Callow, will open at Trafalgar Studios 1 on 20th April.

The summer season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, in Scarborough, will include Jim Cartwright's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, the story of a mousey girl who lives through impersonating singers such as Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey, directed by Paul Robinson, from 15th June; Taking Steps, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, about the tenants of three floors of a crumbling house in the space of a mad-cap 24 hours, from 13th July; Amelia Bullmore's Di And Viv And Rose, about three university friends as they progress through life, directed Lotte Wakeham, from 3rd August; and the premieres of A Brief History Of Women, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, the story of an unremarkable man and the four remarkable women who loved him, left him, or lost him, from 1st September; and Ali Taylor's Goth Weekend, a dark comedy about what people pretend to be, set in the lead-up to Whitby Goth Festival, directed by Paul Robinson, from 14th September.

Concert production design company Stufish (formerly Studio Fisher) is moving into theatre production with Soho, a multimedia spectacular combining circus, street and theatre performance, to tell the story of London's cosmopolitan entertainment hub, directed by Abigail Yeates, with choreography by Eleni Edipidi, opening at the Peacock Theatre on 10th May.

Forthcoming productions at the Curve in Leicester will include Joe Orton's What The Butler Saw, a farce set in a psychiatrist's office, with Rufus Hound, Catherine Russell, Dakota Blue Richards, Jack Holden and Ravi Aujla, directed by Nikolai Foster, opening on 8th March a co-production with the Theatre Royal Bath; Ravi Shankar's only opera Sukanya, completed by David Murphy, libretto by Amit Chaudhuri, a mythical love story from the Mahabharata, directed by Suba Das, with choreography by Aakash Odedra Company, will premiere on 12th May, a co-production with the Royal Opera and London Philharmonic Orchestra; and The Graduate, adapted by Terry Johnson from the iconic 1968 film of Charles Webb's coming of age story, directed by Lucy Bailey, opening on 31st May, a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse; plus the musical Sunset Boulevard, book by Christopher Hampton, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Don Black, adapted from the 1950 film about a faded silent film star dreaming of making a comeback, aided by an unsuccessful screenwriter, with Ria Jones, directed by Nikolai Foster, opening a national tour on 28th September.

Honk!, the musical adaptation of Hans Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, music by George Stiles, book and lyrics by Anthony Drew, with Liam Vincent-Kilbride, Ellie Nunn, Leon Scott, Sam Sugarman, Robert Pearce, Emily Goad and Emma-Jane Morton, directed by Andy Room with choreography by Lily Howkins, will open at the Union Theatre, in Southwark, on 1st April.