News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th September 2017

Forthcoming productions at the National Theatre will include Eugene Ionesco's Exit The King, a comedy charting the death of an incompetent and megalomaniacal monarch who has brought his country to near ruin, but refuses to relinquish any control, adapted and directed by Patrick Marber, with Rhys Ifans; Rodney Ackland's Absolute Hell, a study of life after dark in post Second World War Soho, directed by Joe Hill Gibbins; Brian Friel's Translations, set in 1833 in rural Ireland where the British Army are attempting to translate all the Gaelic place names into English, directed by Ian Rickson; a new play by Bruce Norris about a group of paedophiles in a secure unit, directed by Dominic Cooke; Stefano Massini's The Lehman Trilogy, translated by Ben Power, about the creation and destruction of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, directed by Sam Mendes; and a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches, with a score by James Humphreys, directed by Lyndsey Turner.

Ronald Harwood's Quartet, a comedy about former opera singers in a retirement home for musicians, with Paul Nicholas, Jeff Rawle, Wendi Peters and Sue Holderness, directed by Peter Rowe, will open a national tour at the Everyman Theatre Cheltenham on 13th February.

The new season at the Donmar Warehouse will comprise Amy Herzog's Belleville, looking at the limits of trust, truth, deception and dependency in a world where both love and loss can be pathological and cathartic, with James Norton, Imogen Poots, Faith Alabi and Malachi Kirby, directed by Michael Longhurst, opening on 14th December; Peter Gill's The York Realist, set in the early 1960s, focusing on the relationship and culture clash between a middle class outsider directing the York Mystery Plays, and a local working class amateur performer, with Ben Batt, Lucy Black, Lesley Nicol, Katie West and Matthew Wilson, directed by Robert Hastie, opening on 13th February; and William Congreve's Restoration comedy The Way Of The World, with Linda Bassett, directed by James McDonald, opening on 5th April.

On The Casting Couch: Marcus Brigstocke and Laura Pitt Pulford will head the cast of the Michael Stewart-Cy Coleman musical Barnum, opening at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 5th December.

Scottish Opera's 2017/2018 season will include the premiere of Lliam Paterson's Bambino, an opera for babies, directed by Phelim McDermott; new productions of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Greek, adapted from Steven Berkoff's contemporary retelling of the Oedipus myth, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins; Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos, directed by Antony McDonald; and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, directed by Oliver Mears; plus revivals of David McVicar's production of Verdi's La Traviata; and Stephen Barlow's production of Jonathan Dove's Flight.

Gerald Scarfe: Stage And Screen provides an opportunity to explore the extensive but little-known production designs by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, at the House of Illustration, in Granary Square, King's Cross, until 21st January. Storyboards, costumes and props are on display from productions including English National Opera's Orpheus In The Underworld, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Disney's Hercules and English National Ballet's The Nutcracker.