News Archive

29th December 1998
It is customary at this time to look back over the year, and review triumphs and failures. Well we don't do that because we're more interested in the future than the past, so the tradition here is to look forward to what will happen - all based on hard, solid, um, er, rumour. The...
27th December 1998
The entertainment element of the Millennium Experience, which forms its focal point, has now been revealed. Surprisingly religion has made a last minute comeback, as the 25m musical will be a morality play, retelling the biblical story of man's fall from grace in the Garden of Eden...
18th December 1998
Shelagh Stephenson's bruising comedy of family life The Memory Of Water, currently touring, will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 12th January. Samantha Bond, Julia Sawalha and Alison Steadman play three sisters who are reunited at their mother's funeral, where old grievances resurface...
11th December 1998
Just months after the Richard Rodgers redevelopment plan for the South Bank Centre was finally abandoned, comes another more radical proposal, but its piecemeal approach may succeed where all the others have failed. The plan involves building replacements for the Queen Elizabeth ...
4th December 1998
Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, who starred together in the film The Goodbye Girl, will team up again for the West End premiere of Neil Simon's The Prisoner Of Second Avenue. The play, which originally ran on Broadway in 1971, tells the story of a Manhattan man who loses his job...
27th November 1998
The entertainment element of the Millennium Experience, which forms its focal point, has now been revealed. Surprisingly religion has made a last minute comeback, as the 25m musical will be a morality play, retelling the biblical story of man's fall from grace in the Garden of Eden...
13th November 1998
Rachel Weisz and Sheila Gish will star in the previously mentioned production of Tennessee Williams Suddenly Last Summer next April. This will be the first West End production of the play, as at the time it was written, the subject matter (of a young girl witnessing the rape and ...
6th November 1998
The Royal Shakespeare Company is continuing its co-production policy, despite criticism that Stratford has been reduced to a mere touring date, and that quality has been sacrificed for accessibility in the case of Richard III. Neil Bartlett will adapt and direct Marivaux's The Dispute...
30th October 1998
Following the recent closures of theatres in Liverpool, Farnham, Chester and Greenwich, comes news of two other regional theatre in danger - the Swan in Worcester and the Palace Westcliff. West Midlands Arts is intending to scrap its grant to the Swan, and since this is the main ...
23rd October 1998
The future of the Peter Hall Company lies in the balance once again. Its association with Bill Kenwright will definitely end on 2nd January, when the run of Kafka's Dick finishes. The Old Vic has offered a residency, but can only contribute the building. PHC has applied to the Arts...
16th October 1998
Hopes of a West End transfer for Nicole Kidman and Iain Glen in Sam Mendes sell-out Donmar Warehouse production of David Hare's The Blue Room have been dashed, by the news that they will transfer to Broadway for a 14 week season from 27th November - start checking out the cheap air...
9th October 1998
Keith Waterhouse's new play Good Grief, directed by Ned Sherrin, which is currently touring, will open at the Lyric Theatre in the second week of November. Adapted from his last novel, the premise is a comic look at mourning, with Penelope Keith as a newspaper editor's widow, having...
2nd October 1998
The Almeida season at the Albery Theatre will continue in the new year, with Maxim Gorky's Vassa (aka Vassa Zheleznova and Mother Zheleznova), in a new translation by Peter Gill, directed by Howard Davies, opening on 20th January. The play tells the story of a formidable matriarch...
28th September 1998
A very successful marketing campaign during its Edinburgh Festival and Bush Theatre seasons, sees the National Theatre of Brent's production of Love Upon The Throne transfer to the Comedy Theatre from 10th November to 31st January. Written by and starring Patrick Barlow (aka Desmond...
18th September 1998
Fame is returning to the West End, opening at the Prince Of Wales Theatre on 15th October for a fifteen week run, with a company made up from members of previous casts. Based on the Alan Parker film of 1980, which spawned the TV series, it presents the "next generation" of students...
11th September 1998
The British street dance and percussion phenomenon Stomp, is returning to London for a Christmas season at the Roundhouse from 17th November to 27th December. The show, which was created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, has been touring the world since its last record breaking...
4th September 1998
The fallout from the Peter Hall/Bill Kenwright fallout has begun. Ken Campbell's Pidgin Macbeth which premiered recently at the National Theatre, will open at the Piccadilly Theatre on 9th October, and play in repertoire with Filumena which opens on 8th October. The previously announced...
28th August 1998
Last month's sudden decision by G&J Productions to cease trading, is now revealed to be due to financial, rather than artistic reasons. The company has been put into voluntary liquidation, with accumulated losses of 415,445. Despite the careful image building as the new young dynamic...
21st August 1998
The London production of the Broadway hit Ragtime, scheduled for the Prince Edward next spring, has been postponed indefinitely, following financial irregularities in the running of the American production company Livent. Chairman and chief executive Garth Drabinsky and vice-president...
14th August 1998
Macbeth is notorious as a harbinger of theatrical ill fortune, hence it is usually referred to as "the Scottish play". As far as the National Theatre is concerned, the curse seems to have been transferred to Cleopatra, henceforward "the Egyptian play". Having already lost the services...
7th August 1998
The Royal Shakespeare Company production of Richard III, starring Robert Lindsay and Anna Carteret, directed by Elijah Moshinsky, which opens in Stratford on 27th October, will transfer to the Savoy Theatre on 18th January, presented by Duncan Weldon. Adrian Noble's production of...
31st July 1998
West End stage crews are in for a bonanza weekend on 22nd/23rd August. London's most travelled production An Ideal Husband, moves out of the Albery to make way for the Almeida season, and returns to the Haymarket on 25th August. Things We Do For Love transfers from the Gielgud to...
24th July 1998
Chichester Festival Theatre is back in its stride, with Joe Orton's Loot, the opening production from the Minerva studio season, transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre on 12th August. This was the first time a work by Orton had been presented in Chichester. A black farce, with an...
17th July 1998
The Wyndham Report on British theatre, commissioned by the Society Of London Theatre and published this week, reveals that the total economic impact of West End theatre exceeded 1bn pounds in 1997. It is bigger than both the city accountancy sector, and the film and television industries...
10th July 1998
The Open Air Theatre Regent's Park no longer has an alfresco monopoly. Starlight Cinema is bringing outdoor movies to a giant screen at Alexandra Palace from 16th July to 16th August and Clapham Common from 20th August to 20th September. The programme features a number of films of...
3rd July 1998
As predicted, the Broadway production of the musical Ragtime will open at the Prince Edward Theatre on 9th March. Inspired by E L Doctrow's novel, with book by Terrance McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynne Ahrens it recently won four Tony awards including Best Book...
26th June 1998
The previously mentioned West End revival of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus directed by Peter Hall has set an opening date of 21st October, but is still looking for a theatre. The play is about rival composer Saleri's jealousy of Mozart's talent and success. In addition to David Suchet ...
19th June 1998
Sam Mendes has pulled off another casting coup for a change to his repertoire at the Donmar Warehouse. Nicole Kidman is to make her British stage debut, joining Iain Glenn in The Blue Room, David Hare's contemporary adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde on 23rd September. The...
15th June 1998
British contenders once again did well in Broadway's Tony Awards. The Lion King with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice was voted Best Musical, with Richard Hudson taking Best Scenic Designer; Sam Menndes ex Donmar Warehouse production of Cabaret won Best Musical Revival...
22nd May 1998
In the light of rising costs and falling income (as a result of its new touring policy) the Royal Shakespeare Company is to radically rethink its casting and repertoire. Out go an ensemble company and Shakespeare, and in come stars and a wider range of plays. In order to attract ...
15th May 1998
Like some sci-fi monster, the ego which outgrew theatres and had to play stadia, has metamorphosed yet again. Michael Flatley will appear in what is claimed to be the biggest and most spectacular dance event ever staged: Feet Of Flames before an audience of 25,000 in Hyde Park on...
8th May 1998
Once again British theatre is well represented in Broadway's 1998 Tony Award nominations announced at a gathering at Sardi's this week. They include Richard Briers, Geraldine McEwan and Simon McBurney for The Chairs; Alfred Molina and Matthew Warchus for Art; and Alan Cumming, Natasha...
1st May 1998
The Old Vic is back with a vengeance, as following the season by Marcel Marceau will come the ubiquitous Almeida Theatre. Its current sell out production of Eugene O'Neil's The Ice Man Cometh is to transfer there from 19th June to 1st August. Kevin Spacey will remain in the lead, ...
24th April 1998
British theatre is trailblazing once again. It is common during the production process of Broadway musicals for the stars - director - choreographer - whoever to be replaced - it's almost seen as a virility symbol. Well we've now gone one better by firing the producer! It seems that...
17th April 1998
The cast of Sondheim Tonight at the Barbican Hall on 17th May, the charity show in aid of the Alan Jay Lerner Fund for Research into Lung Cancer at The Royal Marsden Hospital, will include the eclectic mix of Jonathan Pryce, Julia McKenzie, Dame Edna Everage, Elaine Stritch, Len ...
9th April 1998
This year's Holland Park Opera Season runs from 16th June to 27th August with a repertoire consisting of Holland Park Opera productions of Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagiliacci, Iris retained from the 1977 season, Die Fledermaus and the first major British showing of L'Arlesiana; with...
3rd April 1998
The Almeida's sellout production of Pirandello's Naked, with Juliette Binoche and Oliver Ford Davies, directed by Jonathan Kent will transfer to the Playhouse Theatre for a limited run from 23rd April to 30th May. It replaces the less successful The Judas Kiss by David Hare with ...
27th March 1998
The National Theatre's "tour in a tent" production of Oh, What A Lovely War! has found that playing one or two nighters is hard enough without building the auditorium each time as well. The opening performances of the first date in Swanley had to be cancelled because the tent wasn...
20th March 1998
Brassed Off, a new stage adaptation of the hit film by Paul Allen, is breaking records at the Crucible Theatre Sheffield, and will come to the National Theatre in June. The story pitches a colliery brass band in competition finals at the Albert Hall against looming South Yorkshire...
13th March 1998
Dame Edna Everage's new West End vehicle Edna The Spectacle, which opens at the Haymarket Theatre on 21st April, will be even more ambitious than her usual shows. It is an autobiographical musical extravaganza, with songs written by Kit and the Widow, and orchestrated by David Cullen...
6th March 1998
This year's Covent Garden Festival runs from 23rd May to 6th June. Highlights will include: The Sixteen's version of Handel's Sampson; Music Theatre London's new production of Die Fledermaus; Side By Side revues of the work of Leonard Bernstein and Cole Porter; Opera Circus' Cat ...
27th February 1998
The full repertoire of the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park this year will consist of a revival of last year's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Debby Bishop and Ian Talbot directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, opening on 26th May; Troilus And Cressida directed by Alan Strachan...
20th February 1998
The new Bill Kenwright backed Peter Hall Company season at the Piccadilly Theatre will be a modified repertoire, with eight shows a week and no Sunday performances. It opens on 10th March with Alan Dobie, Julian Glover and Terence Rigby in a revival of last season's Waiting For Godot...
13th February 1998
Following his statement that show parties are costing investors too much, Andrew Lloyd Webber seems to have found the solution: make them self financing by charging the guests. He is holding a 50th birthday bash at the Royal Albert Hall on 7th April, for which tickets go on sale ...
6th February 1998
New British Cinema starts repaying its debt to the theatre this autumn. Ewan McGregor is to make his major stage debut in a revival of David Halliwell's Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against the Eunuchs at the Hampstead Theatre, directed by Denis Lawson. The theme is art school...
30th January 1998
Nicholas Hytner is to return to musical theatre for the first time since Miss Saigon - and I thought he'd learnt his lesson. He will direct a stage version of the 1957 film The Sweet Smell Of Success, with a book written by John Guare of Six Degrees Of Separation fame. Livent are...
22nd January 1998
Shockhead Peter, which created a stir last year, both on tour and in its previous London appearance, returns to the Lyric Hammersmith from 22nd February to 10th April. Based on Heinrich Hoffmann's cautionary tale Struwwelpeter, but given a Rocky Horror style workover, Cultural Industry...
16th January 1998
Chichester Festival Theatre took a positive step forward this week with the arrival of Andrew Welch as director. He has already had the experience of reviving the fortunes of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, and has West End connections through the Theatre Of Comedy. Outline plans for...
9th January 1998
After various docking problems, the "glam rock space odyssey" musical Saucy Jack And The Space Vixens will finally be attempting a soft landing at the Queens Theatre on 19th March. Winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival, the show toured in the autumn. The book is by Charlotte...
1st January 1998
It is customary at this time to look back over the year, and review triumphs and failures. Well we don't do that here, because we are more interested in the future than the past, so we look forward to what will happen - all based on hard, solid, um, er, rumour. Inspired by the success...