6th October, 2002
Gala Manager Sacked
In yet another development in the saga of Durham's troubled Gala Theatre,
general manager Rob Flower has been made redundant. The £14m theatre
opened on 15th January and was run by operating company The Entertainment
Team (Durham) Ltd., which collapsed in May with debts of over £700,000.
Since then the theatre has been run by its owners, Durham City Council,
and Flower (who came to the theatre from the Royal Albert Hall, where
he was oeprations manager) was confirmed in his post.
Since then the council has come to an arrangement with producer Charles
Vance, who is forming a rep company based at the theatre which will
then tour shows nationally.
Now the "staff restructuring" which led to Flower's redundancy,
will create four new jobs, including the post of education officer.
RNT Cancels Frogs
The National Theatre has given up its right to produce a concert version
of Sondheim's The Frogs (based on the Aristophanes comedy), so
that a full-scale production can go ahead in new York next year.
Barbican to Produce
The Barbican is to mount its own Shakespeare productions, its artistic
director Graham Sheffield has said. "We want the Barbican to continue
to have an element of Shakespeare in the programme - with or without
the RSC," he went on, after saying that the theatre intends to
co-produce "abroad and at home" and to produce shows itself
from scratch. The productions will then tour, Sheffield added, "Paris
or New York or wherever."
It is not expected that the programme will begin for another two years
Loach Attacks Labour
Ken Loach, one of Britain's most successful film directors, has attacked
the Labour party. "The Labour Party is no longer a party of the
left," he said. "It's about big business." He predicts
that its turn to the right has left a vacuum which will be filled by
He was speaking in Glasgow prior to the first UK screening of his new
film Sweet Sixteen, a critical success at Cannes. The film,about
a teenage Scot growing up in a caravan park with a heroin addict mother
and her violent partner, has been classified 18 by the British Board
of Film Classification because of its bad language and Loach is furious.
" It's ridiculous," he said. "This is the language of
young kids of the streets. It's their film and yet they won't be allowed
to see it."
Top Bands to Appear
British big name pop bands have been lined up to appear in the new musical
Glastonbury which opens in Cardiff on 16th October, before touring
to Manchester, Birmingham and Brighton. Bands such a Blur and UB40 will
play a gig before each performance, but who will play where will not
be announced until a short while before each show.
Little Angel Saved
Islington's Little Angel, the oldest puppet theatre in England, which
ahs been closed since April, has been saved from permanent closure after
it raised £180,000 in a "Save The Little Angel" campaign.
Little Known Rattigan
A little known Terence Rattigan play, After the Dance, is to
tour to Exeter, Bury St Edmunds, Oxford, Northampton and Guildford after
it finishes its run at the Salisbury Playhouse, where it opened on Thursday.
The Oxford Stage Company production is to mark the 25th anniversary
of the playwright's death.
After the Dance opened in 1939 but closed because of the outbreak
of war, and it has not had a professional production since, even though
it receievd good notices at the time.
Queen Show Extends
We Will Rock You, the musical based on the songs of pop band
Queen, has extended its booking period to 28th June, 2003.
The cast for the RNT's production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes
will include Sally Ann Triplett, Denis Quilley, Mary Stockley, Annette
McLaughlin and John Barrowman. The show, directed by Trevor Nunn, opens
at the Olivier on 18th December (previews from 11th).
Meaney and Bergin in Musical Comedy
Singer Andrea Corr is to appear alongside Jim Broadbent, Colm Meaney
and Patrick Bergin in a new musical comedy, The Great Celeidh War,
it is reported. No other details are available.
More casting Announced
for Peter Pan
Joining Richard Wilson (Captain Hook) and Susannah York (Narrator) in
the Christmas production of Peter Pan, a Musical Adventure at
the Royal Festival Hall, will be David Bamber (who will play Smee),
James Gillan (who will play the title role), Lottie Mayor (Wendy) and
Claire Moore (Mrs Darling).
It is confirmed that the revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, starring
Michael Richards, will open at the Strand Theatre on 14th February,
A Russian version of the hit musical Chicago has opened in Moscow.
The show opend at the Moscow State Estrada Theatre on Friday, 4th October.
Stone Crabs and Blue
One of the surprise hits of this year's Edinburgh Fringe, Stone Crabs
(produced by Frankie's Theatrical Adventures, a Brazilian theatre company,
now based in South East London) is to receive a London showing at the
Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell from 13th November.
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