Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
The new season at the Almeida Theatre, in Islington, will include Martin Crimp's The Treatment, a satire on the film industry, with Aisling Loftus and Matthew Needham, directed by Lyndsey Turner, opening on 28th April; and the premieres of James Graham's Ink, about Rupert Murdoch's launch of The Sun newspaper, directed by Rupert Goold, opening on 27th June; and Christopher Shinn's Against, about an aerospace billionaire who experiences a life-changing moment, and sets out to change the world, with Ben Whishaw, directed by Ian Rickson, opening on 23rd August.
The Menier Chocolate Factory production of David Baddiel in My Family: Not The Sitcom, a 'massively disrespectful' celebration of his late parents, will open at the Playhouse Theatre on 30th March.
New York TheatreNet: Manhattan Theatre Club will stage Penelope Skinner's Linda, charting the midlife crisis of a woman who appears to have it all, with Janie Dee, directed by Lynne Meadow, opening at NY City Center on 23rd February; and the Public Theater will stage the premiere of the musical Joan Of Arc: Into The Fire, book, music, and lyrics by David Byrne, with Jo Lampert, directed by Alex Timbers, with choreography by Steven Hoggett, opening on 15th March.
Fat Friends The Musical, book lyric and direction by Kay Mellor, music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, adapted from Mellor's TV series about members of a slimming club, with Jodie Prenger, will premiere at Leeds Grand Theatre, opening a national tour on 7th November.
On The Casting Couch: Roger Allam, Tom Goodman-Hill, Debra Gillett, Paul Chahidi and Nathalie Armin will feature in Steve Waters's Limehouse, opening at the Donmar Warehouse on 8th March.
The spring season at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow will include John Boyne's Cuttin' A Rug, the second part of The Slab Boys trilogy, picturing the tough, rebellious, working class culture of 1950s industrial Scotland, with Mark Barrett, Paul James Corrigan, Ryan Fletcher, Scott Fletcher, Anne Lacey, Helen Mallon, Louise McCarthy, Barbara Rafferty, Sean Scanlan, directed by Caroline Paterson, opening on 10th February; Noel Coward's Hay Fever, the story of a weekend at the country retreat of a bohemian actress, her writer husband, and their two adult children, all of whom behave extravagantly badly in front of their mystified house guests, directed by Dominic Hil, opening on 6th April, a co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh; and Graham Greene's Travels With My Aunt, adapted by Giles Havergal for 4 actors playing multiple roles, in the story of a retired bank manager on a globe-trotting adventure discovering colourful characters and the possibilities that life conjures up in the most unusual places, directed by Phillip Breen, opening on 5th May.
The Rumour Machine says: that the National Theatre will stage the premiere of a musical version of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, book by Dennis Kelly, with the score from the 1940 Disney film and other songs from the Disney back catalogue, directed by John Tiffany, with choreography by Steven Hoggatt, opening in December. The Rumour Machine grinds on.