News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th May 2017

The Society Of London Theatre is presenting the 20th Kids Week in the West End, designed to introduce young people to the theatregoing experience, with thousands of free tickets and special events. Once again this year it will run for a whole month, from 1st to 31st August. Children between 5 and 16 can go free (when accompanied by a paying adult) to over 35 shows, with up to 2 additional children at half price. There will be accompanying events taking place, including backstage tours, workshops, classes, storytelling and 'meet the cast' opportunities. There are also freebies and discounts at restaurants, and on travel and accommodation packages. Booking opens at 10am on 17th June.

The new season at the Rose Theatre in Kingston will include Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, which explores the difference between art and emotion, as a writer has an affair with the wife of an actor in one of his plays, with Laurence Fox, directed by Stephen Unwin, from 2nd October; Sam Holcroft's Rules For Living, set at an extended family gathering at Christmas, directed by Simon Godwin, from 7th November; Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, in an adaptation by David Edgar, with Phil Daniels, directed by Simon Godwin, from 9th February; and Stephen Bill's Curtains, a dark comedy set at a birthday party for an 86 year old, directed by Lindsay Posner, from 22nd February.

Slava's Snowshow, Russian clown Slava Polunin's wordless show that sees a group of clowns overcoming various physical obstacles, culminating in the coup de theatre of a blizzard, will return to the Royal Festival Hall from 18th December to 4th January.

This year's season at Longborough Festival Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', will run from 8th June to 1st August. It comprises new productions of Beethoven's Fidelio, directed by Orpha Phelan; Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Thomas Guthrie; and Gluck's Orpheo Et Euridice, directed by Maria Jagusz; plus a revival of Carmen Jockobi's production of Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde. Performances are in a 500 seat theatre, with an orchestra pit for 65 players, set in the heart of the Cotswolds, overlooking the Evenlode valley. In order to accommodate a dinner interval performances begin at 3pm or 5pm. Further information can be found on the LFO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.

The Broadway League has announced that Broadway shows broke the all-time revenue record during the 2016/2017 theatre season running from 29th May 2016 to 21st May 2017, grossing $1.45bn, up 5.5% on the previous year, with 13.27m paid attendances, the second best ever, down slightly from 13.31m the previous year. In 2016/2017 there were 34 new productions, up 6 from the previous year, comprising 20 musicals (13 new, 6 revivals and 1 return engagement), 20 plays (10 new, 9 revivals and 1 return engagement), and 5 special events, performing for a total of 1,580 playing weeks, down from 1,648 the previous year. Broadway attendance was more than 2.6m greater than the home attendance of New York and New Jersey's 10 professional sports teams combined.

An arena staging of J M Barrie's Peter Pan, with Matt Knight, Martin Kemp and Bradley Walsh heading a cast of 100, directed by Jon Conway, will play at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham from 20th to 24th December, and at Wembley Arena on 29th and 30th December.