Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews
Highlights of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, running from 4th to 28th August, will include the premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's The Divide, a two part comedy exploring a futuristic dystopian society of repression, insurrection and forbidden love, directed by Annabel Bolton, prior to a transfer to the Old Vic Theatre; Zinnie Harris's Oresteia: This Restless House, a reimagining of Aeschylus's play, directed by Dominic Hill, and a new version of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, directed by Murat Daltaban, plus the premiere of Meet Me At Dawn, based on the Orpheus myth; and the premiere of Flight, adapted by Oliver Emanuel from Caroline Brothers's novel Hinterland, following two brothers on a journey across Europe from their home in Afghanistan in search of safety, directed by Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.
The stage premiere of Richard Harris's Dog Ends, adapted from his TV play, a dark comedy about a man with both an elderly and sick dog and father, and a misunderstanding about which one he wants to put down, with Christien Anholt, Anita Graham, Bryan Hands, Jeffrey Holland, Alex Mann, Charlotte Peak and Nick Wilton, directed by Keith Strachan, will open at the Tabard Theatre, in Turnham Green, on 23rd March.
Watford Palace Theatre will stage the premiere of the musical I Capture The Castle, book and lyrics by Teresa Howard, music by Steven Edis, adapted from Dodie Smith's romantic coming of age novel set in a crumbling stately home in the 1930s, with Suzanne Ahmet, Kate Batter, Theo Boyce, Luke Dale, Lowri Izzard, Julia St John, Isaac Stanmore, Ben Watson and Shona White, directed by Brigid Larmour, with movement by Shona Morris, from 31st March, a co-production with the Bolton Octagon Theatre.
The Bolton Octagon Theatre will stage the premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Winter Hill, exploring the line between fighting for freedom and terrorism, with Cathy Tyson, Denise Black, Louise Jamieson, Fiona Hampton, Janet Henfrey and Souad Faress, directed by Elizabeth Newman, opening on 15th May.
Son Of A Preacher Man, a new musical featuring songs associated with Dusty Springfield, book by Warner Brown, about three strangers who find themselves drawn to the site of an old '60s coffee bar in Denmark Street (London's Tin Pan Alley music publishing centre), directed and choreographed by Clive Revel Horwood, will open a national tour at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 4th September.
This year's season at Garsington Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', will run from 1st June to 30th July, comprising Handel's Semele, directed by Annilese Miskimmon; Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro, directed by John Cox; Debussy's Pelleas Et Melisande, directed by Michael Boyd; and Rossini's Il Turco In Italia, directed by Martin Duncan; plus the premiere of a community piece Silver Birch, music by Roxanna Panufnik, libretto by Jessica Duchen, adapted from Siegfried Sassoon's war poetry, directed by Karen Gillingham. Further information can be found on the GO web site via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.