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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th February 2018

The new season at the Royal Court Theatre will include Thomas Eccleshare's Instructions For Correct Assembly, a dark comedy exploring the failure of modern parenting, directed by Hamish Pirie, opening on 13th April; and the premieres of Rory Mullarkey's Pity, a comically probing take on life in contemporary England, directed by Sam Pritchard, opening on 18th July; an as yet untitled work in which Debris Stevenson uses music, movement, lyrics and poetry to recall how London's grime scene helped her to find her voice, opening on 25th September; Ear For Eye, exploring the effects of institutional and systemic racism, written and directed by Debbie Tucker Green, opening on 31st October; and Mark Ravenhill's The Cane, in which a teacher approaching retirement sufferers at the hands of a mob of angry and resentful students, directed by Vicky Featherstone, opening on 12th December.

Florian Zeller's The Height Of The Storm, translated by Christopher Hampton, an exploration of love, family and the fragility of life, with Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins, directed by Jonathan Kent, will open at Wyndham's Theatre on 9th October.

This year's Chichester Festival Theatre season will comprise in the Festival Theatre: Noel Coward's Present Laughter, the semi autobiographical comedy about the chaotic home life of a 1930s matinee idol, with Rufus Hound, directed by Sean Foley; Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, the story of an eccentric woman raising her 16 year old granddaughter, who lives in a fantasy world and runs wild in the garden of a manor house, with Penelope Keith, Amanda Root and Oliver Ford Davies, directed by Alan Strachan, the musical Me And My Girl, original book and lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber, book revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent, music by Noel Gay, in which a cockney costermonger inherits an earldom in the 1930s, with Caroline Quentin, directed by Daniel Evans; the musical Flowers For Mrs Harris, book by Rachel Wagstaff, music and lyrics by Richard Taylor, adapted from the novel by Paul Gallico, about a cockney charwoman in the 1940s who goes to Paris in search of an original Dior dress, with Clare Burt, Joanna Riding and Gary Wilmot, directed by Daniel Evans; and Bryony Lavery's The Midnight Gang, adapted from David Walliams's children's book, in which a boy awakens in a spooky hospital after a blow to his head, directed by Dale Rooks.

In the Minerva Theatre: Debbie Tucker Green's Random/Generations, a double bill examining love, life and loss, directed by Tinuke Craig; William Wycherley's restoration comedy The Country Wife, directed by Jonathan Munby; the premiere of Charlotte Jones's The Meeting, examining the challenges of bringing the truth to light, directed by Natalie Abrahami; Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, in which German nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg visits Danish colleague Niels Bohr in Nazi occupied Copenhagen to discuss developments in atomic research, with Charles Edwards and Paul Jesson, directed by Michael Blakemore; Mike Bartlett's Cock, looking at the state of modern relationships, directed by Kate Hewitt; and the premiere of Laura Wade's The Watsons, adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel, directed by Samuel West.

The Birmingham Stage Company production of Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part 4, adapted from Terry Deary's series of children's books and directed by Neal Foster, will play daytime performances at the Apollo Theatre, from 3rd August to 1st September.

Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, a comedy-drama examining racism in the workplace, when a white doctor tries to remove a black receptionist from her job, with Elizabeth Berrington and Tanya Moodie, directed by Jonathan O'Boyle, will open at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 20th April.