23rd February, 2003
ENO Chorus to Strike
The English National Opera chorus is to strike this coming Tuesday (25th
February) as part of its campaign to halt the planned reduction of its
numbers by a third. The chorus will not appear onstage in Berlioz' The
Trojans but instead will give a free performance Verdi's Requiem
at St Paul's Chuch, next door to the Coliseum.
The strike will be just the first if the company's management do not
rethink their plans for reducing the sixty-strong chorus down to forty.
It is an official strike, backed by Equity, the first since the television
strike of forty years ago.
Lang Replaces Lipman
Belinda Lang has replaced Maureen Lipman, who has had to pull out of
the tour of Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, which opened last
week at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. Lipman was forced to pull out of
the production in the middle of last month because of a family illness.
Also in the cast are Moira Shearer, Nickolas Grace and Gerard Harper.
The show, which is directed by Sheridan Morley, will visit Brighton,
Milton Keynes, Richmond, Bromley, Woking and Canterbury, after which
it is hoped there will be a West End transfer.
Riding Joins Hobson
Joanna Riding, currently playing Eliza Doolittle in the RNT My Fair
Lady, for which she won the Best Actress in a Musical award in the
Oliviers, will star in Harold Brighouse's Hobson's Choice at
the Royal Exchange, Manchester, from 14th May to 28th June.
Directed by Braham Murray, the play will also star John Thompson from
the popular TV comedy Cold Feet.
Branagh and Hall Together
at the National
Kenneth Branagh is to star in and Edward Hall will direct the National
Theatre's production of David Mamet's Edmond, which will be part
of the £10 season at the Olivier. Expected in June, Edmond
will be the third £10 production.
Welsh Arts Survey
According to the 2002 Welsh Omnibus Survey undertaken by Beaufort Research,
70% of adults in Wales attended at least one arts event during the year
surveyed, and 29% actually participated in one. Other findings were:
- 67% believe that there should be public funding of arts and cultural
- 88% feel that all school children should have the opportunity to
learn to play a musical instrument or participate in other arts activities
- Arts attendance is highest in North Wales, with 77% attending the
arts once a year or more.
English Touring Theatre's King
Lear, starring Timothy West, transfers to the Old Vic on 18th
March and runs until 19th April, following a national tour.
Their production of Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman opened in Malvern
last week and will tour to York, Greenwich, Salford, Oxford, Bromley
and Richmond. In Oxford it will share the stage with Michael Pennington's
Anton Chekhov, which also ahs a solo run at Bury St Edmunds from 11th
to 15th March.
Gambon to Replace Harris
in Potter Film
Michael Gambon is to play Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and
the Prisoner of Azkaban, which starts filming next week. He replaces
Richard Harris who recently died of cancer. Also in the cast will be
Gary Oldman, Timothy Spall and Paul Whitehouse .
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats has set out on a 21st anniversary
tour. It opened at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, last week and will go
on to Manchester, Wolverhampton, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Belfast and
Blackpool, closing on 16th August. It is a co-production between the
Theatre Royal and Clear Channel Entertainment.
Former model turned actress Caprice has collapsed towards the end of
the first act of a performance of Rent. She was replaced by her
understudy and the following day was told by a doctor to take a week
off, but has said she will return to the show before then. Rent
closes on 8th March.
Nunn's Last Show
Trevor Nunn's last production as artistic director of the National Theatre,
Love's Labour's Lost, opened last week and will run in repertory
with Anything Goes.
On Your Toes
The Royal Festival Hall will play host to the Leicester Haymarket production
of Rodgers and Hart's On Your Toes, starring dancer Adam Cooper,
from 7th August to 6th September (previews from 4th August). Cooper,
a former member of th Royal Ballet, is best known for dancing the lead
in AMP's all-male Swan Lake - and for being the grown up Billy
at the very end of the film Billy Elliott.
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