15th December, 2002
Crawford Musical Slated
Michael Crawford's return to the stage for the first time since Phantom
in 1986 has been greeted with derision by the critics. Most of their
venom, however, was directed, not at Crawford, but at the show, Vampire.
USA Today described it as "spectacularly idiotic" and Associated
Press said it is "a musical of mind-numbing silliness". Website
broadway.com simply called it "this appalling evening".
Hazeldine out of National
James Hazeldine has been forced to withdraw from the National Theatre's
production of Christopher Hampton's The Talking Cure because
of ill heath. He will be replaced as Carl Jung by Scottish actor Bill
Reports Successful Year
Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Theatre Royal achieved a 67% average in the past
financial year, the venue's annual report reveals, eight percentage
points above the national average. The Theatre presented 352 performances
and averaged 6602 customers per week.
The financial year 2001-2 also saw membership of the Friends scheme
increase by 20% and an increase of seventeen in the number of businesses
becoming corporate supporters. Income, too, was up, and the balance
of 87% earned income as against 13% public funding was maintained.
Fringe First Winners
Two Fringe First winners from the 2002 Edinburgh Fringe arrive in London
in the new year. 100, devised and produced by theimaginarybody
theatre company, comes to the Soho Theatre from 3rd to 22nd February
(check out our special ticket offer on this
show), and a few days later the Riot Group from San Francisco arrive
at the Riverside Studios with their Victory at the Dirt Palace.
Miss Jean Brodie Returns
Siobhan Redmond is to star in a new production of The Prime of Miss
Jean Brodie which will play the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, from 10th
January to 8th February and will transfer to Glasgow's Theatre Royal
from 11th to 15th February.
The Most Shocking
What has been described as the most shocking Christmas play ever runs
at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden, until 22nd December. Andrew Dallmeyer's
Wanted Dead or Alive portrays Osama Bin Laden playing Santa Claus in
an American shopping mall - with a suicide bomb strapped to his waist.
Takes £10m in Six Months
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bollywood musical, Bombay Dreams (Apollo
Victoria), announced this week that not only was it celebrating its
200th performance (on Wednesday), but that audiences have topped 330,000
and its taking have exceeded £10m. It has now extended its booking
period by seven months, until 26 October 2003.
to Tour Nationally
A new production of Fiddler on the Roof is to embark on a national
tour on 17th February. Starring Paul Nicholas, the tour opens at the
Blackpool Grand and then visits Stoke, Oxford, Liverpool, York, Dartford,
Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Sheffield, Belfast, Cork, Milton
Keynes, Sunderland, Bradford, Plymouth, Bristol, Woking, Wolverhampton,
Edinburgh, Nottingham and Norwich.
Van Outen in Lloyd
Denise Van Outen is to star in a revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and
Don Black's Tell Me On A Sunday. Directed by Matthew Warchus,
the revival will play a twelve week season at the Gielgud, starting
on 8th April.
New Cast for Youth
Freddie Prinze Jr, Chris Klein and Heather Burns are to be the fourth
cast of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth from 16th January,
2003. The producers announced an extension this week until 15th March.
Edward Hall's Macbeth, starring Sean Bean and Samantha Bond,
is now booking until 1st March, although Bean and Bond will not be appearing
during the week of 2nd February.
David Hare's The Breath of Life, starring Dames Judie Dench
and Maggie Smith, is now also booking until 1st March.
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