25th August, 2002
RSC to Go Commercial
The Royal Shakespeare Company is to expand its commercial activities,
if proposals for the development of RSC Enterprises, the new trading
arm of the company, are put into action. This could include endorsing
Shakespeare texts and other books, as well as moving into video, TV
and online merchandising. Elaine Bedell, the company's executive director,
will put the proposals to the new company's board in November.
"It was realised," said Elaine Bedell, "that the arts
subsidy plus box office income would not be enough to sustain a dynamic
theatre company in the 21st Century. Any profit will be reinvested in
the artistic life of the RSC."
At the moment the RSC is looking at a deficit of at least £1.3m
Grandage's Plans for
The new artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, Michael Grandage,
has announced plans for his first season at the London venue, from December
2002 to August 2003:
- The Vortex by Noël Coward (10th December to 15th February,
previews from 5th December): directed by Grandage
- Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo in a new translation
by Simon Nye (26th February to 19th April 2003, previews from 20th
April): directed by Robert Delamere
- Caligula by Albert Camus, translated by David Greig (30th
April to 14th June 2003, previews from 24th April): directed by Grandage
- Pacific Overtures by Stephen Sondheim in a co-production
with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater: directed by Gary Griffin of
Anything Goes Until
The RNT has confirmed that will direct Cole Porter's Anything Goes
as his last musical. It will open on 18th December in the Olivier (previews
from 11th) to 8th February, when it will go into repertoire until the
end of March. He will also be directing Love's Labour's Lost
with the same cast early next year, although no details of when have
yet been announced. Casting details are also to come later.
Christopher Cazenove is to star in the UK premiere of Neil Simon's London
Suite at the Gateway from 4th to 28th September, pror to an international
The proposed tour of the joint RNT/Mamaloucous production of Aristophanes'
The Birds has been cancelled. The aim had been to transfer the
show from the National to a circus tent for the tour. However a spokesman
for the company said, "The production has faced more technical
difficulties than were originally anticipated. It has become clear that
there is insufficient time available to make the necessary changes to
the technical design for the tour without compromising the performers'
safety or adversely affecting the artistic integrity of the production."
Mamaloucous hope to revive the production in the spring of next year.
to London Stage
Actor Pete Postlethwaite returns to the London stage after an absence
of ten years in September when he will perform his one-man show Scaramouche
Jones at the Riverside Studios. The show runs from 25th September
to 19th October.
Jackson Drops Out
Philip Jackson has dropped out of the West End premiere of Debbie Isitt's
The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband at the New Ambassadors because
of a bad case of 'flu. He will be replaced by Michael Attwell. The play
opens on 16th September (previews from 9th).
Life x 3
Yasmina Reza's Life x 3 returns to the West End on 1st October
(previews from 23rd September) when it begins a ten week run at the
Savoy, following a national tour. David Haig, Belinda Lang, David Yelland
and Serena Evans star in Matthew Warchus' production.
A new production of Sheridan's The Rivals, starring Gabrielle
Drake and Kate O'Mara, embarked on a national tour this week after opening
at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. A British Actors Theatre Company production,
it will visit Aberdeen, Inverness, Bradford, Birmingham, Cambridge,
Guildford and Norwich.
Also touring this week is a new production of Rattigan's The Winslow
Boy, starring Edward Fox, Simon Ward and Polly Adams. It runs at
the Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, until 31st August, and then moves on to
Malvern, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Richmond, Bath, Brighton, Bromley
Lane Returns OBE
TV writer Carla Lane is to return her OBE in protest at the award of
a CBE to Brian Cass, managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences.
HLS has been at the centre of numerous animal rights protests for its
use of animals in the development and testing of drugs and Ms Lane is
an animal rights campaigner, who runs an animal sanctuary.
Scary Spice Joins
Scary Spice, Mel B of the Spice Girls, will join the cast of the touring
version of The Vagina Monologues on its second stop at the Lowry, Salford,
from 17th to 21st September. Also in the cast will be Rhona Campbell
and Ingeborga Dapkunaite.
The tour opens in Bath and, after Salford, will visit Cambridge, Oxford,
Warwick, Sheffield, Glasgow, Brighton, Richmond and Guildford.
30th Birthday Tour
To celebrate its 30th birthday in 2002, The Rocky Horror Show
embarks on a new national tour, opening at the Churchill, Bromley, on
30th September, before going on to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Bradford,
Richmond, Woking, Stoke-on-Trent and Brighton. Further venues for the
tour, which finishes in March 2003, will be announced later.
Is Coming Back
The Play What I Wrote is to return to Wyndham's from 30th October
to 4th January prior to transferring to Broadway in March.
Follows Kate at the Victoria Palace
A revival of Grease is to open at the Victoria Palace on 26th
September and will run until 1st March, following the revival of Kiss
Me, Kate, which finished yeaterday (Saturday 24th August).
Cruise Singer to Make
West End Debut
Jane McDonald, who was made famous by the TV docu-soap The Cruise
and has since had a televesion and cabaret career, is to make her West
End debut as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet - The Musical.
Blood Brothers, which celebrates its 15th year in the West End
on Tuesday, has extended to 27th September, 2003.
The Woman in Black, now in its 14th year, has extended to 1st
The Lion King has extended to 29th June, 2003.
The Mousetrap has extended to 31st May, 2003
BBC2 has announced a new season of drama, which includes Emma Thompson
in Wit, a play about a university professor of discovers she
has cancer; Keeley Hawes and Anna Chancellor in a lesbian love story
in three parts, Tipping the Velvet; and Christopher Eccleston
in Flesh and Blood, about a man trying to trace his own father
after the birth of his daughter.
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