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News and Events

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th January 2018

The Selfish Giant, a new folk opera by Guy Chambers, adapted from Oscar Wilde's children's story in which a giant faces eternal winter because he won't allow anyone to enter his garden, directed by Bill Buckhurst, will play at the Vaudeville Theatre from 10th to 14th April.

The musical The Last Ship, book by Brian Yorkey and John Logan, music and lyrics by Sting, incorporating biographical elements from Sting's life in his boyhood home in the ship building town of Wallsend, as the shipyards face closure, with Joe McGann, Charlie Hardwick, Richard Fleeshman and Frances McNamee, directed by Lorne Campbell, will open a national tour at the Northern Stage in Newcastle on 12th March.

On The Casting Couch: Patsy Ferran, Seb Carrington, Nancy Crane, Eric MacLennan, Forbes Masson, Matthew Needham, Tok Stephen and Anjana Vasan will feature in Tennessee Williams's Summer And Smoke, opening at the Almeida Theatre on 7th March; Vanessa Redgrave, Andrew Burnap, John Benajmin Hickey, Samuel H Levine and Kyle Soller will head the cast of Matthew Lopez's The Inheritance, opening at the Young Vic Theatre on 28th March; and Rhys Ifans will head the cast of Joe Penhall's Mood Music, opening at the Old Vic Theatre on 2nd May.

The spring season at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton will include Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, in a new adaptation by Janys Chambers and Lorna French, with Jessica Baglow, Michael Peavoy, John Branwell, Claire Hackett, Marc Small, Kiruna Stamell, Anna Tierney and Leah Walker, directed by Elizabeth Newman, opening on 23rd January; Shakespeare's Hamlet, with David Ricardo-Pearce, Jessica Baglow, Margot Leicester and Brian Protheroe, directed by David Thacker, from 15th February; Lawrence Till's The Big Corner adapted from short stories by Bill Naughton about life in Bolton in the 1950s, directed by Elizabeth Newman, from 19th April; and the musical Summer Holiday, adapted by Michael Gyngell and Mark Haddigan from the 1963 film, in which a group of young people embark on journey across Europe to Athens in a London a double-decker bus, directed by Elizabeth Newman and Ben Occhipinti, from 31st May.

The premiere of Stephanie Jacob's Again, in which a close-knit family come together after a long period of estrangement, with Rosie Day, Chris Larkin, Natasha Little and Charles Reston, directed by Hannah Price, will open at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 9th February.

Dirty Dancing, the 'play with music' adapted from the 1987 film by screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, about a romance between a rich visitor and a working class dance instructor in an upmarket American holiday camp in the 1960s, directed by Federico Bellone, with choreography by Gillian Bruce, will open a national tour at the Theatre Royal Brighton on 20th September.

And Finally . . . An immersive site specific experience The Grift, written and directed by Tom Salamon, which delivers a masterclass in how to be a grifter as the audience is tasked with taking down a seedy criminal, with Dylan Allcock, Ged Forrest, Rachel Harper, Laura Kirman, Alastair Kirton, Daniel Millar, Kevin Moore and Mark Oosterveen, will open at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green on 30th January.


Opening This Week

Amadeus - National Olivier
The return of Peter Shaffer's play exploring the relationship between the Austrian Court composer Antonio Salieri and his young rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen, directed by Michael Longhurst.
The Birthday Party - Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter's play in which a celebration in a seaside boarding house is interrupted by the arrival of two sinister strangers, with Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Pearl Mackie, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Peter Wight, directed by Ian Rickson.


First Nights

18th - Amadeus - National Olivier
18th - The Birthday Party - Harold Pinter
22nd - Lady Windermere's Fan - Vaudeville
23rd - Beginning - Ambassadors
24th - John - National Dorfman
25th - Mary Stuart - Duke of York's
30th - Julius Caesar - Bridge
6th - Long Day's Journey Into Night - Wyndham's


14th - Dick Whittington - London Palladium
20th - A Christmas Carol - Old Vic
20th - Julius Caesar - Barbican Theatre
20th - Antony And Cleopatra -
27th - Rita, Sue And Bob Too - Royal Court
3rd - The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas - Haymarket
3rd - Belleville - Donmar Warehouse
3rd - Glengarry, Glen Ross - Playhouse
3rd - La Soiree - Aldwych