News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd February 2018

The recent Chichester Festival Theatre production of Shakespeare's King Lear, with Ian McKellen and Sinead Cusack, directed by Jonathan Munby, will be remounted at the Duke of York's Theatre from 12th July.

Gore Vidal's The Best Man, about power, ambition, political secrets and ruthlessness in the race for the American presidency, with Martin Shaw, Maureen Lipman, Jeff Fahey, Jack Shepherd, Glynis Barber and Honeysuckle Weeks, directed by Simon Evans, will open at the Playhouse Theatre on 5th March.

The new season at the Almeida Theratre in Islington will comprise the premiere of Ella Hickson's The Writer, about a writer who wants to change the world and make herself heard, directed by Blanche McIntyre, opening on 24th April; Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, the expressionist drama about women's financial dependence on men, and one woman's attempt to break free, directed by Natalie Abrahami, opening on 11th June; ŁĄ€$ (Lies) by Joeri Smet, Angelo Tijssens, Karolien De Bleser and Alexander Devriendt, an interactive show about investing in world markets, directed by Alexander Devriendt, opening on 1st and 2nd August; and Clare Barron's Dance Nation, chronicling the trials and tribulations of a pre-teen dance competition in raucous pageant of ambition and ferocity, directed by Bijan Sheibani, opening on 4th September.

Forthcoming productions at the Soho Theatre will include Will Sharpe's English adaptation of One Green Bottle, a satirical comedy about consumerism and technology in a 'selfie' society, written and performed by Hideki Noda, with Kathryn Hunter and Glyn Pritchard, from 27th April; Mary Laws's Blueberry Toast, a comedy exposing the darker side of happily ever after, with Gala Gordon, directed by Steve Marmion, from 24th May; and Vicky Jones's The One, in which a couple are trapped in a destructive cycle of love and lust, directed by Steve Marmion, from 5th July.

The Broadway League has published its survey of the 2016/2017 season, 'The Demographics of the Broadway Audience'. The report is based on data collected at a number of productions and performances, selected to represent a variety of Broadway offerings through the year. There were 13.3m admissions during the season. Tourists made up 61% of tickets sold, with 15% coming from abroad. Women continued to be the majority of audiences, making up 66% of the total, but there was a rise in young ticket buyers, as the average theatergoing age dropped to 41.7, and the season attracted the highest percentage of theatregoers under 18 (1.65m admissions) in the history of this analysis. The average Broadway theatregoer saw 4 shows, with play fans seeing 9 and musical fans seeing 4. Word of mouth was the most influential factor in show selection, and approximately half of respondents said they purchased their tickets online.

Forthcoming productions at Wilton's Music Hall, in Wapping, will include a dance adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed and choreographed by Mark Bruce, with Jonathan Goddard and Eleanor Duval, from 23rd February; and Joanna Murray-Smith's Songs For Nobodies, a one woman show in which Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas encounter five ordinary women, performed by Bernadette Robinson, directed by Simon Phillips, from 21st March.