19th January, 2003
Vote at ENO
Members of the chorus at English National Opera have passed a vote of
no confidence in the company's management after a business plan to be
put to ACE suggested a cut of one third in the chorus. There were reports
during 2002 that the company was planning to run part-time in order
the save money. Other suggestions being mooted included paying off the
orchestra. Now the business plan suggests curtting the chorus from 60
to 40 members.
The Coliseum-based company receives £13.9m annually from the
75,000 Discounted Tickets
Get Into London Theatre!, the successor to last year's Greatest
Show on Earth, the initiative from London Mayor Ken Livingstone
to counter the effects on theatre of the events of 11th September 2001,
will provide 75,000 discounted tickets from the opening day (which was
Wednesday 15th January) and 29th March. Over fifty theatres will take
part in the scheme and tickets will be £10, £15 and £20,
depending on the show and availability. In addition, there will be extra
price concessions for people under 25 and over 60. A limited number
of tickets will be available to these groups for just £5.
These tickets must be booked by 28th February and only through a pecial
phone line (0870 840 2468) or through the website of the Society
of London Theatre (SOLT).
BAC Funding Cut
Wandsworth Borough Council is to go ahead with proposed cuts to Battersea
Arts Centre's funding in 2004. It had intended making the cuts - a total
of £113,000 - from April but last week decided to postpone them
for a year. The reason for the cut, according to a spokesperson for
the council, is that BAC is no longer a purely local organisation as
they have been given a £425,000 grant by the Arts Council.
However the ACE grant was to enable the centre to do what artistic
director Tom Morris calls "a different job" and so, if it
goes ahead, the centre wll have to cut some of its local work.
to Close Early
Romeo and Juliet - The Musical, which opened in November to disastrous
notices, is to close early, although not as early as its critics expected.
It has posted early closing notices for 8th February, which is nearly
the end of its initial booking period (sixteen weeks).
The French original is the most successful French musical ever, having
been seen by over a million people, both in Paris and on tour. The English
version uses the same music but with new lyrics (by Don Black) and a
Paige to Return with
Elaine Paige is to return to the London stage, her website reveals,
with an as yet unnamed play which will be directed by Sir Peter Hall.
The two worked to gether on her last West End appeaance, in Piaf.
No venue has yet been announced. It is expected that the show will open
in the summer.
Michael Crawford's comback Broadway production, The Dance of the
Vampires, based on Roman Polanski's 1967 film, is to close after
just 56 performances. It attracted some of the worst reviews seen on
Broadway for many years and is expected to lose $12m - it cost $15m.
Ayckbourn's 61st Tours
Alan Ayckbourn's 61st play, Snake in the Grass, a thriller, opened
this week at the Yvonne Srnaud, Guildford, and will tour to Oxford,
Worthing and Warwick. Directed by Ayckbourn it will star Susie Blake,
Fiona Mollison and Rachel Atkins, who played in the premiere at the
Stephen Joseph last year.
Andrews to Take Over
Anthony Andrews is to take over from Alex Jennings as Prof. Henry Higgins
in the National's revival of My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal
Drury Lane during March, according to a report in the "Daily Mail".
At the same time Jane Kelly will replace Joanna Riding as Eliza and
Russ Abbott will take over the role of Alfred Doolittle from Denis Waterman.
First Foot at
First Foot, the Stephen Joseph Theatre's second new writing short
season, is to premiere two new plays: How to Tell the Truth by
Chris Dunkley (28th January to 15th February) and Parting Shots
by Peter Robert Scott (18th February to 1st March). This is the second
First Foot season.
New Hare Play for the
Dabid Hare is to write a new play for the National Theatre but, although
he has a title, otherwise he hasn't, he says, written a word. The play
will be called The Permanent Way.
Friedman in Ragtime
Maria Friedman will star in Ragtime when it comes to London later
this year. The show ran on Broadway for two years. It will be produced
by her sister, Sonia.
Pryce for Soho Play
Jonathon Pryce is to star in the two-hander A Reckoning (Wesley
Moore) at the Soho Theatre in April. His co-star will be Flora Montgomery.
Stones in His Pockets, Marie Jones' hit comedy at the Duke of
York's, has extended its booking period to 28th June.
Lipman Leaves Chalk
Maureen Lipman has had to withdraw from Sheridan Morley's revival of
Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden because of family illness. No
replacement has yet been named for the play which is due to open at
the Theatre Royal, Windsor, on 11th February. It will then tour to Brighton,
Milton Keynes, Richmond, Bromley, Woking and Canterbury. A West End
transfer was anticipated but this is now in doubt.
Da Boyz at Stratford
Da Boyz, a Hip-hop Version of The Boys from Syracuse,
is coming to the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The theatre will present
the last event in Richard Rodgers centenary year, an updated East
End version of the show. The music has been completely re-mixed as a
hip hop street musical by DJ Excalibah, from BBC 1XTRA, and MC Skolla.
Directed and designed by international artist ULTZ.
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