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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th June 2017

Once again there is an extravagance of premieres in this year's Dance Umbrella, running from 11th to 28th October, presenting the best of national and international contemporary dance performing at venues across London. Highlights include Satchie Noro and Silvain Ohl's Origami, inspired by the ancient Japanese art of paper folding; Charlotte Spencer's Is This A Waste Land, a large scale immersive outdoor performance on a disused piece of land; Cia Maduixa's Dot, blending projections with dancers bodies; and Eun-Me Ahn's Let Me Change Your Name, playing with ideas of identity and androgyny through interchangeable neon costumes. Full details of programmes and venues can be found on the Dance Umbrella web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at Southwark Playhouse, at the Elephant and Castle, will include Abigail Hood's Dangling, exploring the consequences of breaking the normal bonds of love, with Stephan Boyce, Charlotte Brooke, Philip Duguid-McQuillan, Ian Gain, Abigail Hood, Jasper Jacob, Christopher Lane, Maggie Saunders and Tracey Wilkinson, directed by Kevin Tomlinson, opening on 11th August; N C Hunter's A Day By The Sea, in which a high flying diplomat in the 1950s discovers what really matters in life, directed by Tricia Thorns, opening on 6th October; and the premiere of Stewart Pringle's Trestle, exploring love and aging in the time of extended life expectancies, opening on 3rd November.

The autumn season at Dundee Repertory Theatre will include Tracy Letts's August: Osage County, concerning a family in rural Oklahoma, who are unexpectedly reunited after the disappearance of the father, when secrets are revealed and old enmities reawakened, directed by Andrew Panton, opening on 31st August; Jean Genet's The Maids, translated by Martin Crimp, a psychological thriller in which two maids dream up dangerous and sadistic ways in which they could kill their employer, directed by Eve Jamieson, opening on 19th October; and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, adapted by Neil Duffield, with Ann Louis Ross, directed by Andrew Panton, opening on 2nd December.

The Old Red Lion, at the Angel Islington, will stage the premiere of Tony Cox's Mrs Orwell, telling the final chapter of George Orwell's life as he succumbs to a severe case of Tuberculosis, with Cressida Bonas, Peter Hamilton Dyer, Rosie Ede, Edmund Digby Jones and Robert Stocks, directed by Jimmy Walters, opening on 4th August.

The autumn season at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond will include David Storey's The March On Russia, a family drama set at a wedding anniversary celebration, directed by Alice Hamilton, opening on 11th September; Duncan Macmillan's Every Brilliant Thing, a comedy about depression, with Jonny Donahoe, directed by George Perrin, opening on 10th October; Lot Vekemans's Poison, translated by Rina Vergano, about loss and moving on, directed by Paul Miller, opening on 6th November; and George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance, a debate about marriage, socialism and the 'new woman', directed by Paul Miller, opening on 11th December, plus the return of Danyah and John Miller's interactive children's show Kika's Birthday, from 20th December.