7th April, 2002
Bid to be Culture Capital
Twelve areas of the UK are bidding to become European Capital of Culture
in 2008. They are Bradford, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove,
Bristol, Canterbury and East Kent, Cardiff, Inverness and the Highlands,
Liverpool, Newcastle and Gateshead, Norwich and Oxford. Cardiff, Liverpool
and Newcastle/Gateshead are considered to be the front-runners.
Honouring the Queen
Theatres throughout Britain are honouring the Queen Mother, who died
on 30th March, either by playing the National Anthem or holding a minutes'
silence before or after the show, following the joint recommendations
of the Society of London Theatre and the Theatrical Management Association.
They will do this until after her funeral on Tuesday 9th April.
Following the wishes of the Royal Family, no theatres will close and
no performaces will be cancelled.
Connect Five at the
Over the next two months the Soho Theatre will be presenting five productions
by some of the most adventurous UK theatre companies.
Graeae opened the season this week with Peeling by Kaite O'Reilly,
which runs until 13th April, after which Frantic Assembly will present
Heavenly, based on a story by Gary Owen, from 15th to 20th April.
Neutrino, a devised piece by Unlimited Theatre, follows from 22nd to
The Actors' Touring Company take over from 229th April to 11th May
with Roland Schimmelpfenning's Arabian Night, translated by David
The final company is the season is Paine's Plough (15th May to 1st
June) who will be presenting Douglas Maxwell's Helmet, a co-production
with Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre.
More Hollywood Stars
Debut in the West End
Kenneth Lanergan's This Is Our Youth, which was originally due
to end on 20th April, will now run until 15th June, with a change of
cast from 22nd April. Taking over will be Hollywood stars Matt Damon,
Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix. They will replace Hayden Christensen,
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in the production at the Garrick.
Watson to Replace
Emily Watson is to replace Nicole Kidman in Twelfth Night and
Uncle Vanya at the Donmar. It was planned that Kidman should
play Viola and Yelena but film commitments forced her to drop out. Also
in the cast of both plays will be Simon Russell Beale who will play
Malvolio and Vanya. The two plays, which run in rep from September to
November, will be director Sam Medes' last before he leaves the Donmar.
Bean Returns to the
Sean Bean is to return to the stage in Edward Hall's production of Macbeth
which will open in Milton Keynes (16th to 26th October), then move on
to Richmond (28th October to 2nd November), and then transfer to the
West End. No dates or venue have yet been set for the transfer.
Pearson to Tour
in Frayn Revival
Neil Pearson is to tour in a revival of Michael Frayn's Benefactors.
It opens in Milton Keynes on 22nd May and then goes on to Brighton,
Richmond and Oxford before transferring to the West End where it will
preview from 17th June, although no venue has yet been announced.
Friedman Solo at
the New Ambassadors
Maria Friedman will be performing her one-woman show By Special Arrangement
at the New Ambassadors from 22nd to 27th April at 9.00, after the evening
performance of The Vagina Monologues. The show won an Olivier
for Best Entertainment in 1995 when she first prormed it at the Donmar.
The Glee Club
The Glee Club, a play by Richard Cameron which has just ended
a sell-out run at the Bush, is to transfer to the Duchess on 22nd April
(previews from 17th). Directed by Mike Bradwell, it stars David Bamber
and David Schofield.
McGuinness Play at
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, by Frank
McGuinness, opens at the Pleasance, London, on 9th April and runs until
28th. It began previewing on Friday 5th.
Burke to Direct
Kathy Burke is to direct Karen McLachlan's play Betty, a hit
at the Edinburgh Festival in 2000. The production is expected to open
on 9th July at the Vaudeville.
Another Pop Group
The pop group Madness is planning a musical based on its songs. Called
Our House - the Musical, it is due to open in the West End in
the autumn and will be directed by Matthew Warchus.
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