13th January, 2002
Takes Over the Almeida
In a move which surprised the theatre world, the Almeida has appointed
Michael Attenborough to take over as artistic director in July when
the present incumbents, Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid, leave. Attenborough
(51), the son of Lord Attenborough, has been executive producer and
principal associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Company since
1990. Among his RSC productions are The Herbal Bed, A Month
in the Country and The Prisoner's Dilemma, David Edgar's
play which is surrently running at the Barbican.
Prior to joining the RSC, he was artistic director of the Hampstead
Theatre and then the Watford Palace.
His last production for the RSC will be Antony and Cleopatra
with Sinead Cusack in April. His first job with the Almeida will be
to oversee its return to Islington from King's Cross when the refurbishment
(which costs in the region of £4m) is complete.
Academic Post for
Stephen Daldry has been appointed Visiting Professor of Contemporary
Theatre at the University of Oxford. It is a year-long appointiment
and involves the giving of a seriesof lectures on the state of contemporary
to the Old Vic
Matthew Warchus has been appointed as artistic director of the Old Vic.
Best known as the director of Yasmina Reza's hit Art and her
Life X 3, in March Warchus is due to direct A Winter's Tale
at the Roundhouse for the RSC.
to the Stage
David Warner is to return to the West End stage for the first time in
thirty years. He will star in a new play by Olaf Olafsson at the Lyric.
Called The Feast of Snails, it will open on 18th February, with
previews from 8th. Also in the cast will be Philip Glenister and Sorcha
Since playing the lead in I, Claudius in 1972, Warner has only
once appeared onstage, when he made his Broadway debut in Major Barbara.
Noble Asked to Defend
RSC artistic director Adrian Noble was called before the House of Commons'
Culture, Media and Sport select committee last week to justify to proposed
spending of £50m of public money (already earmarked by ACE) on
the rebuilding of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the so-called "theatrical
village" on the banks of the Avon.
Noble, along with RSC MD Chris Foy, Redevelopment Director Jonathan
Pope and actress Sinead Cusack, who is a member of the company's board,
met with opposition from some members of the select committee but in
general the members seemed to support the proposals. In particular,
the Chairman, Gerald Kaufman, was wholehearted in his support.
The committee will visit Stratford in February.
Opens in June
Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Bollywood" musical, Bombay Dreams,
will open at the Apollo Victoria on 19th June (previews from 31st May).
The music for the show is written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman and
the book by actress, comedienne and writer Meera Syal. Lloyd Webber
is the producer and has not written any material for the show.
Currently the Apollo Victoria houses Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express,
which closed yesterday (12th January) after a run of eighteen years.
Edward Petherbridge uis to join the cast of the musical Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang which is due to open at the London Palladium on 16th April
(previewing from 19th March). He joins Michael Ball, Brian Blessed,
Nichola McAuliffe, Richard O'Brien and Anton Rodgers.
Tynan Play Set to
A play about almost legendary critic Kenneth Tynan is set to open at
the Soho Theatre on 15th February (previews from 13th). The play will
run until 30th March.
Written by Canadian Janet Munsil, Smoking with Lulu was first
presented at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in November 2000.
Gershwin Musical Opens
My One and Only, the Gershwin musical, opens at the Piccadilly
on 25th February. In the cast will be Janie Dee and Tim Flavin.
Returns to West End (2002)
Linda Marlowe's ione-woman show Berkoff's Women gets another
West End outing from 28th January as part of the "Live at the Arts"
season at the Arts Theatre.
at the Riverside
The classical French tragedy Phaedra by Jean Racine opens this
month at the Riverside Studios. Starring Sheila Gish and Daniel Betts,
the play will be produced by new company Concentric Circles, formed
by Betts and director Christopher Fettes.
Concentric Circles aims to bring together established and new actors.
Sketches at the National
A number of sketches by Harold Pinter will be presenetd at the National
Theatre on 8th and 11th February. Amongst them will be Press Conference
which receives its world premiere and will star Pinter himself. Also
in the cast are Corin Redgrave, Frances de la Tour and Penelope Wilton.
Robson Green Is
the New Cracker
Filming of a new series of the ITV drama Cracker is in progress
and is due to finish next month. Robbie Coltrane's character Fitz is
to be replaced by a new clinical psychologist Tony Hill, who is played
by North East actor Robson Green.
Puppet Show at
London's Pleasance Theatre is to be the venue for a puppet show, Mr
China's Son, from the Blind Summit company. Full details from their
press release are here.
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