21st September, 2003
First of Firsts at
The Riot Group's Pugilist
Specialist, winner of this year's First of Firsts at the Edinburgh
Fringe, is to transfer to London's Soho Theatre on 14th January. Written
Shaplin, it will play until 7th February and then set of on a national
tour, visiting Belfast, Glasgow, Plymouth, Cambridge and Brighton. Other
venues will be announced later.
Glover and Pearson
Are Taking Sides
Julian Glover and Neil Pearson are to star in Ronald Harwood's Taking
Sides, which opens at the The Theatre Royal, Bath, on 21st October,
after which it will tour to Nottingham, Guildford, Richmond, Darlington,
Brighton and Cardiff. More venues are expected to be announced late,
as is a West End transfer in 2004.
Wimbledon to Re-Open
The Wimbledon Theatre, renamed the New Wimbledon Theatre - is to re-open
in February 2004. In a deal between the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust,
the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and the London Borough Of Merton,
ATG will take over the running of the theatre. The first show will be
Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!, which opens on 9th February.
Serkis Makes Directing
Actor Andy Serkis is to make his debut as a director at the Southwark
Playhouse with Patrick Suskind's The Double Bass on 29th December.
Although Serkis is famous for playing Gollum in the film of Lord
of the Rings: The Two Towers, he is an experienced theatre actor
with credits at the Royal Court and the Old Vic.
TV Should Back Film,
Television companies should do more to support the British film industry,
the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has said. Pointing
out that less than 3% of the films shown on all five terrestrial channels
last year were British, the committee sai, "We would like to see
increased levels of support for film production and exhibition of British
product from the public service broadcasters."
Committee member Frank Doran, pointing out that "third rate American
imports" are cinstantly being shown, asked, "Why not second
and first rate British movies? It all comes down to costs and that's
The committee complained that, when he gave evidence earlier this year,
the Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, as "almost cursory"
about the corporation's attitude to film investment.
In defence the BBC pointed out that it has invested in 13 films in
the last 18 months and that it has "clear strategy for uncovering
and nurturing developing filmmaking talent and has provided big screen
The Propeller Theatre Company's all-male production of A
Midsummer Night's Dream (Comedy Theatre) has extened by two
weeks until 8th November.
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