News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th April 2018

The Donmar Warehouse will stage Brian Friel's Aristocrats, a 'Checkovian' play about three sisters and a brother who return to their ancestral home in 1970s Ireland, with Elaine Cassidy, Daniel Dawson, David Ganley, Emmet Kirwan, Aisling Loftus, Ciaran McIntyre and Eileen Walsh, directed by Lyndsey Turner, opening on 9th August; and Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, with Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden alternating in the leading roles, directed by Josie Rourke, opening on 11th October.

Pantomime will return to the London Palladium with Snow White, featuring Dawn French, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, Vincent and Flavia, Josh Bennett and Andrew Martin, directed by Michael Harrison, from 8th December to 13th January.

The 1,200 seater theatre at Alexandra Palace, which opened in 1875 but has been dark for 80 years, will reopen on 1st December after a multimillion-pound restoration. The relaunch season will include the Birmingham Stage Company production Horrible Histories - Horrible Christmas, adapted from Terry Deary's series of children's books and directed by Neal Foster during December. Prior to this there will be a 'preview' concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial By Jury as part of the BBC Proms on 1st September.

The autumn season at the Park Theatre, in Finsbury Park, will include the premiere of Danny Robins's End Of The Pier, in which a once famous, but now forgotten, comedian is tempted with a comeback, with Les Dennis, Blake Harrison, Nitin Ganatra and Tala Gouveia, opening on 16th July; Jim Cartwright's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, about a mousey girl who lives through impersonating torch singers, with Sally George, Rafaella Hutchinson and Jamie Rose Monk, directed by Tom Latter, opening on 21st August; the premiere of Sharr White's The Other Place, a psychological thriller about a neurologist who is interrupted by a series of disturbing events during a lecture to a roomful of doctors, with Karen Archer, directed by Claire van Kampen, opening on 24th September; Joanna Murray-Smith's Honour, a portrait of what happens when a secure marriage suddenly stalls, directed by Paul Robinson, opening on 30th October; and J M Barrie's original version of Peter Pan, directed by Jonathan O'Boyle, opening on 7th December.

Thunderbirds: Beyond The Horizon, an immersive theatrical adaptation of the Thunderbirds television series charting the adventures of the International Rescue organisation, will play in a purpose-built space at the Elephant and Castle from 7th November to 27th January.

The French rock musical Notre Dame de Paris, based on Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback Of Notre Dame telling the story of the cathedral bell-ringer and his tragic love for a beautiful gypsy dancer, music by Richard Cocciante, lyrics by Luc Plamondon, directed by Gilles Maheu, with choreography by Martino Muller, will play at the London Coliseum from 23rd to 27th January.

And Finally, Very Finally . . . The Last Days Of Anne Boleyn, charting the 17 days of imprisonment, interrogation, trial and execution of Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London, written and directed by Michael Fentiman, with Lawrence Boothman, Kazuma Andrew Costello, Natasha Cowley, Amy Cudden, David Fielder, Oliver Grant, Rhiannon Llewellyn and Benedict Salter, will be staged as an open air site specific production at the Tower, from 6th May to 28th August. There is no truth in the rumour that in the pursuit of authenticity the title role will be played by a series of actresses who will give just one performance each.