2nd November, 2003
A Third London Opera
London's Savoy Theatre is set to become the capital's third opera house
in April next year when the Savoy Opera opens there. The brainchild
of Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen and Raymond Gubbay, the company's aim will
be to make opera more accessible to the general public - more, in fact,
like a West End musical experience. Tickets will be in the West End
musical price range and all productions will be in English.
The company will have Steven Pimlott as director and he will be joined
in its management by conductor David Parry and Sarah Playfair.
The first season will consist of The Barber of Seville and The
Marriage of Figaro (April to June), Carmen and LElisir
dAmore (June to September), La Traviata and La Belle
Helène (September to December) and The Magic Flute
(December to February 2005).
Flockhart to Make London
It now seems likely that Hollywood actress Callista Flockhart will make
her London stage debut in Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie next
year. It has been known for some time that the star, who has a long
history of stage work in the US, has wanted to play in London but has
been waiting for the right production.
Two More for the Donmar
Two more productions have been announced for the Donmar Warehouse's
2004 season. They will be Pirandello's Henry IV in a new version
by Tom Stoppard, opening on 4th May 2004, (previews from 29th April),
and booking to 26th June, and the musical Grand Hotel (book by
Luther Davis, music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest,
based on Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel, with additional music and
lyrics by Maury Yeston), which opens on 29th November, 2004 (previews
from 19th) and booking until 12th February, 2005.
Riding in Happiest
Joanna Riding is to star in a revival of John Dighton's 1948 comedy,
The Happiest Days of Your Life, at the Manchester Royal Exchange
from 8th December (previews from 3rd) to 17th January. She will play
sports mistress Miss Gossage, the part played in the 1950 Ealing film
version by Joyce Grenfell. Philip Madoc and Janet Henfrey will play
the two headteachers.
Jason Thinking of Retirement
David Jason, whose current success, A Touch of Frost, last week
was voted most popular drama at the the National Television Awards,
has said he may retire. As he collected the award, he said, "You
reach a point when there are only so many times you can say, 'time of
"When a show is still popular you do want to continue but Frost
should retire now and maybe I should retire."
London's Playhouse Theatre is to host a revival of Christopher Hampton's
Les Liaisons Dangereuses in December (opening 12th, previews
from 3rd). Polly Walker, Jared Harris, Emilia Fox, Jeremy Edwards, Dilys
Laye and Laurence Penry-Jones will be in the cast.
Anne Rogers Returns
The former leading lady Anne Rogers, whose credits include the first
productions of The Boyfriend and No, No, Nanette, has
returned to the West End after thirty years to play Jessie Matthews
in Over My Shoulder, which opened last week at Wyndham's.
Casting has been announced for Moira Buffini's Dinner which opens
at Wyndham's in December. The cast will consist of Nicholas Farrell,
Harriet Walter, Pennie Downey, Paul Kaye, Flora Montgomery, Adrian Lukis
and Paul Sirr.
Also announced last week was the casting for the Almeida's production
of Five Gold Rings by Joanna Laurens, opening on 18th December
(previews from 11th). The cast includes David Calder, Will Keen, Damian
Lewis, Helen McCrory and Indira Varma.
- Thoroughly Modern Millie, which opened last week at the Shaftesbury,
has now extended by three and a half months to 8th May, 2004.
- The Reduced Shakespeare Company (Criterion) has extended to 30th
The Rat Pack Confidential, the Nottingham Playhouse production
at the Whitehall has posted early closing notices for 15th November,
almost a month early. It has been running for three months.
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