News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th June 2018

All About Eve, a stage adaptation of Joseph L Mankiewicz's screenplay of the 1950 film, about a young actress who schemes her way to becoming a Broadway star, with Lily James and Gillian Anderson, directed by Ivo van Hove, will open at the Noel Coward Theatre in February.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Broadway musical Come From Away, book, music and lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff, about the day when 38 planes from around the world, with 7,000 passengers and crews, were diverted to a small Canadian community, on September 11, 2001, directed by Christopher Ashley, with musical staging by Kelly Devine, will open at the Phoenix Theatre on 18th February.

The autumn season at Hampstead Theatre, at Swiss Cottage, will include the Roundabout Theatre Company New York production of Stephen Karam's The Humans, set at a family Thanksgiving gathering in Lower East Side Manhattan, with the original cast comprising Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Cassie Beck, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed and Sarah Steele, directed by Joe Mantello, opening on 6th September; and Lauren Gunderson's I And You, about a schoolgirl who is confined to her room due to illness, with Maisie Williams, directed by Edward Hall, opening on 25th October.

The autumn season at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester will include the premiere of Jeanie O'Hare's Queen Margaret, which retells Shakespeare's version of the War Of The Roses from the point of view of Margret of Anju, with Jade Anouka, directed by Elizabeth Freestone, opening on 19th September; Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, the story of a small time travelling salesman with a blind belief in the American Dream, who, despite his lack of success, tries to force his failed ambitions and values onto his unwilling sons, with Don Warrington, directed by Sarah Frankcom, opening on 16th October; the musical The Producers, book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, in which a producer attempts to stage the biggest Broadway musical flop ever and make off with the oversubscribed backing cash, directed by Raz Shaw, with choreography by Alistair David, opening on 5th December; and Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage And Her Children, in a new adaptation by Anna Jordan, charting the devastating effects of the 17th century Thirty Years War on the people of Europe, with Julie Hesmondhalgh, directed by Amy Hodge, opening on 13th February.

The Bloomsbury Theatre, near Euston, which has been closed for renovation since 2015, will reopen with the Birmingham Stage Company production of David Walliams's Awful Auntie, a tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl and a very small ghost, adapted and directed by Neal Foster with Richard James, Roberta Bellekom, Ashley Cousins, Harry Sutherland and Georgina Leonidas, on 12th December.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Broadway musical Waitress, book by Jessie Nelson, music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, adapted from the 2007 film about a woman trapped in a job she hates whose life changes when she discovers she is pregnant, directed by Diane Paulus, with choreography by Lorin Latarro, is looking for a theatre for a West End transfer; and that the musical Pretty Woman, adapted from the 1990 film, a Cinderella tale of a prostitute and a wealthy businessman fall for one another, book by Garry Marshall and J F Lawton, music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, with Samantha Banks and Andy Karl, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, is already looking at a West End transfer, even though it has yet to open on Broadway. The Rumour Machine grinds on.