News Archive

30th December 1999
Elsewhere, 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, ...
23rd December 1999
As previously forecast here, the Royal Court Theatre has postponed its reopening for a fourth time, as building work on its 25m refurbishment programme will not be complete by 12th January. The Court intends to continue with the announced season however, by relocating the opening...
10th December 1999
The annual report of the Theatres Trust - the government's own watchdog - contains a stinging condemnation of the government's policies towards the theatre. Director Peter Longman predicts that if theatres continue to be starved of funding, live entertainment will be reduced to "...
3rd December 1999
The Donmar Warehouse production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing opens at the Albery Theatre on 13th January for a two month run, prior to an appearance on Broadway. It will again feature Stephen Dillaine, who has just won the Evening Standard Best Actor Award for his performance...
26th November 1999
John Hurt is to repeat his performance in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape for a run at the New Ambassadors Theatre from 25th January to 11th March. The character is dictating a last audio diary message, when he comes across an old tape he has forgotten. Hurt returned to the London...
19th November 1999
The world premiere of Blast!, the musical extravaganza at the London Apollo on 14th December, will feature a company of 40 brass players, 12 percussionists and a 16 strong "visual ensemble". Although predominantly American, six of the brass players are from the Royal Academy of Music...
12th November 1999
The West End presentation of the recent Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King And I will open at the London Palladium on 3rd May. Hawaiian actor Jason Scott Lee makes his musical theatre debut as the King, and Elaine Paige plays Anna, the I in question. The show...
5th November 1999
Ray Cooney's previously mentioned production of William Douglas Home's comedy The Chiltern Hundreds will open at the Vaudeville Theatre on 17th November. It stars Edward Fox, Polly Adams, Mark Dexter, Delia Lindsay, Carli Norris, Malcolm Rennie, Finty Williams and Moray Watson. The...
29th October 1999
Birmingham Royal Ballet will present the world premiere of David Bintley's new ballet Arthur at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 25th January. Based on the Arthurian legends, already explored in other media, this new ballet will translate the legacy of King Arthur into an epic dance ...
22nd October 1999
The Royal Shakespeare Company is to celebrate the millennium with a complete chronological staging of the history plays under the title of Throne of Kings. Unlike pervious adapted stagings, as The Wars Of The Roses in 1964 and The Plantagenets in 1988, these will be the plays as ...
15th October 1999
As exclusively forecast here last week, Casper The Musical will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 8th December. It is based on Casper The Friendly Ghost created by Joseph Oriolo in 1945, a spook who is a helper, not a haunter, which has been previously adapted both in animation ...
8th October 1999
Jonathan Miller is to direct John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, with the music newly arranged by Jonathan Lloyd, for Broomhill Opera at Wilton's Music Hall, from 24th November to 18th December. Since its first performance in 1728, Gay's satire on self-interest, public corruption and ...
1st October 1999
The British premiere of Donald Marguilies Off Broadway success Collected Stories will be at the Haymarket Theatre on 15th November. Helen Mirren and Anne-Marie Duff star in the story of a novelist who finds that her protegee is willing to abuse their relationship in her search for...
24th September 1999
The 15th Vivian Ellis Prize Gala Showcase at the London Palladium produced an outstanding clutch of contenders for its expanded list of prizes. Beach Radio, book and lyrics by Drey Shepperd and music by Gerard Kenny, a kind of Grease for the '90's, won the Book, Lyricist and Most...
17th September 1999
Terence McNally 's Chorpus Christi has found a London home at the Pleasance from 26th October to 20th November. The play aroused controversy both with the original New York production, and at the Edinburgh Fringe, by postulating a gay relationship between Jesus and Judus. Nevertheless...
13th September 1999
Jean Butler, former star of Riverdance and Colin Deane (who replaced Michael Flatley) will lead the world premiere of Dancing On Dangerous Ground, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 30th November. Butler and Deane have created the show, which is based on the myth of Dairmaid and ...
3rd September 1999
It is confirmed that the current Broadway production of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman will open at the Old Vic on 25th January. Tony Award winning stars Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz will play a twelve week season. The fiftieth anniversary production of the definitive play...
27th August 1999
The second wave of London bound hits from the Edinburgh Fringe is on the way. Nixon's Nixon plays at the Bridewell Theatre from 7th to 25th September. Russell Lees' comedy imagines what went on behind closed doors at the meeting between Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, on the night...
20th August 1999
The first hit from the Edinburgh Fringe to reach London will be Gumboots, which is Tap Dogs in wellies. The "12 bare-chested hunky Sowetans" will take up residence at the Lyric Theatre from 22nd September to 9th October, prior to Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential. The boot slapping...
13th August 1999
The World Concert premiere of the musical Inkle & Yarico at the Edinburgh Festival, will mark UNESCO's International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on 23rd August. It is a retelling of the late18th century story of an Englishman whose life was saved by a ...
6th August 1999
Theatre news this week is dominated by bricks and mortar stories. The Apollo Leisure Group, Britain's biggest theatre operator, with 27 London and regional venues, has been acquired by the American SFX Entertainment Corporation for 170m. SFX, which is the world's largest promoter...
23rd July 1999
A new centre for the study and performance of the work of Shakespeare, is planned at the stately home where some scholars now believe he spent part of his early life. The 20m centre, modelled on Glyndebourne and designed by the same team, will be located at Houghton Towers in Lancashire...
16th July 1999
A sell out hit at the King's Head Theatre in April, the musical A Saint She Ain't will move to the West End on 22nd September. It's based on Moliere's Le Cocu Imaginaire, relocated to 1940's Hollywood, with each character played by a star of the time, including Mae West, Gene Kelly...
9th July 1999
Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed that after early demise of Miss Saigon on 30th October, The Witches Of Eastwick will open at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in late spring. This is a musical adaptation of John Updike's novel, and the subsequent film, with book and lyrics by John Dempsey...
2nd July 1999
Sadler's Wells is to shut as a theatre for four weeks in February, because it cannot afford to book any more major companies in the current financial year. Instead, it will host conferences and trade shows, in an effort to generate extra income. A second year of standstill funding...
25th June 1999
A R Gurney's Love Letters are to be read in London again, at the Haymarket Theatre from 8th July to 1st August. One of the West End's most regular "fill in" shows, seen with a variety of American star pairings over the years, returns with Charlton Heston and Lydia Clarke Heston doing...
18th June 1999
Blast!, a dance, brass, musical spectacular will receive its world premiere at the London Apollo at Christmas. This American production, with marching bands and dancers (as featured at football and baseball games) will play a season from 9th December to 26th February. The Chichester...
11th June 1999
Britain fared poorly in this year's Tony Awards, despite the many West End shows currently on Broadway. Judi Dench won Best Actress in a Play for Amy's View; Matthew Bourne took Best Choreography, and surprisingly Best Direction of a Musical, for Adventures in Motion Pictures Swan...
4th June 1999
Although Forbidden Broadway has finished its sell-out season at the Jermyn Street Theatre, it will return to the Albery Theatre on 29th July for six weeks. The revue takes a satirical look at shows, and their creators and performers. Over 16 years has become an Off Broadway institution...
28th May 1999
LIFT 99 - London International Festival of Theatre presents cutting edge companies from all over the world from 14th June to 4th July. The extraordinary De La Guarda, hit of LIFT 97, which is currently selling out at the Roundhouse, is typical of the untypical fayre on offer. Events...
21st May 1999
A new play by Peter Barnes is coming to the London. Dreaming opens at the Queens Theatre on 15th June for a limited run until 17th July. Set during the Wars of the Roses, it focuses on a group trying to pursue their dreams against the wishes of Richard of Gloucester, the future King...
14th May 1999
Can ballroom become the next dance sensation? An Anglo-Australian dance spectacular Burn The Floor aims to do for ballroom, what Riverdance did for Irish step dancing. Forty four dancers from eleven countries will present ten standard and Latin styles, an industrial cha-cha, jive...
7th May 1999
The Pajama Game has found a London Home. Simon Callow's eccentrically cast (Ulrika Johnson, performance poet John Hegley, and disco diva Alison Limerick, in addition to the more likely Anita Dobson and Graham Bickley) Birmingham Repertory Theatre production will open at the Victoria...
30th April 1999
Tangomania hits London! Tango Pasion is to play a ten week season at the Lyric Theatre from 26th May. The Argentinean company, choreographed by Hector Zaraspe, returns to the West End, following its recent appearance at the London Palladium as part of a national tour. It is presented...
9th April 1999
This year's Chichester Festival Theatre season runs from 12th May to 9th October. Main house productions are: Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest with Patricia Routledge and Saskia Wickham, directed by Christopher Morahan; David Turner's Semi Detached with James Bolam and...
1st April 1999
London has just gained a new cultural quarter which calls itself Cityside. In a shrewd marketing move, the "edge of the cultural map" venues of the Barbican Centre and Sadler's Wells are forming a pincer movement on the newly trendy Clerkenwell area which lies between them. By recruiting...
26th March 1999
The long running Off Broadway musical revue I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change will open at the Comedy Theatre in late July. A sharp look at male-female relationships, covering love, marriage and divorce, the book and lyrics are by Joe DiPietro, and music by Jimmy Roberts. It...
19th March 1999
The previously mentioned revival of D L Coburn's Pulizer Prize winning play The Gin Game, with Joss Ackland and Dorothy Tutin, opens at the Savoy Theatre on 31st March. A gin rummy game between inmates of an old people's home provides the trigger to revelations which lead to an explosion...
12th March 1999
The Ambassadors Theatre Group is launching a new writing venture at its Ambassadors Theatre when the Royal Court season finishes in April. Under the banner of New Ambassadors, it will present six to eight week limited run productions of new writing, either alone, in co-operation ...
5th March 1999
The long 25th anniversary tour of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show finally reaches London (albeit slightly off West End) at the Victoria Palace from 20th April to 12th June - although it's hard to believe it has ever been away. This time Jason Donovan is in Frank 'N' Furter...
26th February 1999
The stage production based on Mark Herman's film Brassed Off, which premiered in a sell out season the Sheffield Crucible last year, and later transferred to the National, is being remounted for a Spring tour. It opens again in Sheffield, this time at the Lyceum Theatre on 1st April...
19th February 1999
Sir Peter Hall dropped two bombshells during his acceptance speech at the Laurence Olivier Awards, only one of which was broadcast - the foundation of the Shadow Arts Council, with members which include Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter and Harrison Birtwhistle. Its aim is to provide alternative...
12th February 1999
Radio 3 is entering the new millennium by dragging itself firmly into the 1960's. To "capture the excitement of 21st century for a young audience", it has commissioned Pete Townshend to complete a rock opera Lifehouse which he started in 1969 as a follow up to Tommy, but abandoned...
5th February 1999
Award winning Russian clown Slava Polounine returns to London with Slava's Snowshow at the Piccadilly Theatre from 2nd March to 10th April. Once again the show will be a combination of visual acts and comedy, which changes from performance to performance. It has been described as...
29th January 1999
Mystery surrounds the future of Starlight Express. Andrew Lloyd Webber was reported as saying that faced with the forthcoming competition from The Lion King in October, he would "retire the show" and rework it for a tour. A spokesman later claimed that he was misquoted and that it...
22nd January 1999
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...
15th January 1999
This year's repertoire at Shakespeare's Globe is more aggressively ambitious than ever. Julius Caesar and Antony And Cleopatra will both be played in costume of the original production period, with all male casts, and live music played on early instruments. As previously mentioned...
8th January 1999
Fascinating Aida return to the West End with a new show, Fascinating Aida: Barefaced Chic for a four week season at the Haymarket Theatre, opening on 8th February. Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Issy Van Randwyck, each a star in her own right, will be directed for the first time...