21st April, 2002
More Ethnic Involvement
An insufficient number of black and Asian people are employed in theatre,
the Theatrical Management Association and ACE have said in a report
published last week. Ethnic employees make up just 1 in 25 of the theatre
workforce.Theatre needs to attract more black and Asian audience members
too, the report goes on.
Award-winning actor Henry Goodman, who has won two Olivier awards, for
Best Actor and Best Actor in a Musical, has been sacked from the Broadway
cast of The Producers. He was told of the sacking after last
Sunday's matinee by a phone call from his London agent: neither the
directopr or any of the producers spoke to him personally.
According to choreographer Susan Stroman in the "New York Times",
he was too classically British. "There are iconic moments - American
moments - in The Producers that just weren't in his bones," she
said. A cast member, quoted anonymously by What's On Stage, said, "He
just isn't funny...he's a very good actor, but he's very serious. He's
not a musical-comedy star."
Chitty Chitty Bang
The musical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened with a
real bang last week. A star-studded audience gave the show a standing
ovation and the critics waxed lyrical. Then Wednesday's performance
had to be cancelled because the car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself,
In one of the most complex special effects ever, the car, which is
rumoured to have cost over £750,000, flies out over the orchestra
pit and then over the first few rows of the audience, a techical feat
which brought wild cheers on the first night.
A component failure in the computer system which operates the car meant
that a part had to be replaced but, although the tech crew worked right
up to the curtain, the new part wouldn't "talk" to the rest
of the system and so the show had to be cancelled, disappointing an
audience of 2000, who were offered a refund or replacement tickets.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is reputed to be the most expensive
musical ever in the West End.
31 British Nominations
in Canadian TV Awards
More British than US programmes have been nominated in Canada's Banff
Rockie Awards. They include:
- Coupling, The Office, The Sketch Show and Smack
the Pony are all nominated in the comdey section
- Teachers (Channel 4) is nominated in the Drama category
- Perfect Strangers, Victoria And Albert, The Way
We Live Now and Shackleton are all nominated in the Mini-Series
McCormack and Lincoln
to Star in Debut Play
Simon Bowen's first play, Free, is to star Catherine McCormack
and Andrew Lincoln when it opens in the Loft, the National Theatre's
new space. Bowen, who was originally an actor, submitted his play speculatively
to the RNT, one of over a thousand sent in every year.
Hit to Close
J.B. Priestley's inspector will call at the Playhouse for the last time
on 1st June. Stepehn Daldry's production of An Inspector Calls
had been booking up to 29th June. It has been running in the West End
- notably at the Garrick - since the eighties, apart from a few short
Dave King Dies
Entertainer and actor Dave King has died at the age of 72. Most recently
he appeared in the soap Coronation Street (from 1994 to 1995), but his
career stretched back to the fifties when he topped the bill at the
London Palladium many times before turning to acting. He appeared in
The Sweeney, The Professionals, Bergerac, Pennies
from Heaven, Rumpole of the Bailey and Heartbeat.
His film credits include The Long Good Friday and Reds.
Horla to Produce Modern
Horla, the resident company at London's Rose and Crown Theatre, is to
produce a modern version of the Don Quixote story. Called Don Q,
the new play is written by Joanna Volinska and opens on 23rd April.
Kiss Me, Kate has announced a booking extension until 1st March,
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