25th November, 2001
Mendes to leave
Sam Mendes has announced that he is to leave his post as artistic director
at the Donmar Warehouse at the end of next year to set up a new theatre
and film production company with Caro Newling, the Donmar's executive
His last year with the company will see him directing Simon Russell
Beale and Nicole Kidman in Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night.
In the Shakespeare, Beale will play Malvolio whilst Kidman will be Viola:
in the Chekhov, Beale will play the ittle role and Kidman Yeliena. The
two productions will be in repertoire from 5th September to 30th November.
Mendes' final year will also include an American Imports season,
Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train (Stephen Adly)
Frame 312 (Keith reddin - world premiere)
Lobby Hero (Kenneth Lonnergan)
Proof (David Auburn - Tony winner)
Take Me Out (Richard Greenburg)
There are rumours that Mendes' replacement will be Michael Grandage,
but it has been announced that the post will be advertised.
to close early
The Duchess Theatre has announced that the RNT production of Joe Penhall's
Blue/Orange will close three weeks before the end of the current
booking period, on 15th December.
Hall to be one of
Model-turned-actress Jerry Hall is to join Cherie Lunghi and Gwen Taylor
in a new production of Picasso's Women at the Churchill, Bromley,
in March 2002.
Hall has already made two appearances on the West End stage, in The
Graduate (where the kindest critic's comment was that she was "wooden")
and The Vagina Monologues.
Old Vic not over
Over the Moon, the farce by Ken Ludwig which stars Joan Collins
at the Old Vic, is to close after seven weeks on 1st December, just
over half way through its planned run. Ray Cooney's production gained
poor reviews when it opened. Ticket prices have been reduced to £10
and £15 for the last few days of the production.
A revival of Athold Fugard's The Island will replace Over the
Moon at the Old Vic on 15th January.
for Dame Judi
Dame Judi Dench is to be honoured with the award of a BAFTA Fellowship,
the Academy's highest award, for her long and exceptional service to
the film industry. It will be resented at a special gala evening on
9th December, her 67th brithday. Dame Judi has won a total of five BAFTA
awards, beginning with Most Promising Newcomer in the 1960s.
Top shows cut Prices
Two of the West End's top shows, Cats and Phantom of the Opera,
both of which are produced by Cameron Mackintosh, are cutting prices
over the Christmas and New Year period. Seats at the two most expensive
prices will be reduced to £25 from now until the end of January.
The offer applies to Monday to Thursday night performances only and
all booking have to be made by 31st December.
The RNT production of Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy is to transfer
to the Gielgud on 5th February (previews from 24th January). The original
cast will also transfer, except for Diana Rigg who will be replaced
by Felicity Kendal.
Stagetec stage techie
Slough-based lighting sales and installation company Stagetec is to
hold an "Academy Day" at White Light North, Halifax, on 24th
January at which it will demonstrate new eqipment from Compulite and
LSC. The event is free.
22nd cast for Art
Yasmina Reza's long-running comedy Art is to have its 22nd cast.
Philip Franks, Leigh Lawson and Simon Shephard take over from Nigel
Havers, Barry Foster and Roger Lloyd-Pack on 2rd December. They will
play until 19th January, 2002.
and Chicago extend
The musical Fame (Cambridge) is now booking to the 31st August,
2002, and Chicago has extended its booking period to 28th September.
Buddy, the story of singer Buddy Holly, which opened at the Victoria
Palace in )ctober 1989 and then transferred to the Strand in October
1995, is to close on 3rd march, 2002, athough it has been booking till
Del won't be a millionaire
A Christmas special of Only Fools and Horses which would have
seen Del Boy (David Jason) appearing on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
will not, after all, take place, as the BBC and ITV were unable to agree
upon the conditions for the use of the Millionaire brand name.
The ITV had wanted the right to repeat the show but the BBC was unable
to agree, as it was felt it would be wrong to allow work produced by
licence-payers' (i.e. public) money to be used by ITV.
expected to go
The resident company at Musselburgh's Brunton Theatre is expected to
close down in March after being refused fixed-term funding by the Scottish
Arts Council and having its annual grant of £400,000 from East
Lothian Council cut.
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