30th March, 2003
Mackintosh Brings in
Two of the West End's most long-running musicals - Les Miserables
at the Palace and The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's,
along with the popular revival of My Fair Lady at the Theatre
Royal Drury Lane, will have a new ticket pricing structure from the
beginning of April. Cameron Mackintosh, who owns the theatres, is to
reduce prices by £10 for what he is calling "off-peak"
performances, and raising them by £2.50 for "peak" times.
The new pricing structure defines off-peak as Tuesday and Wednesday
evenings and midweek matinees except during school holidays and over
the Christmas period and the top price at these times will now be £30
instead of £40. All other performances are designated "peak
time" and the top price will then by £42.50.
This is unlike the two-tier pricing structure for, for example, We
Will Rock You where off-peak remains at £40 but "peak"
prices are £45 on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and £50
on Saturday evening.
Priestley Centre Saved
Bradford's Priestley Centre for the Arts, founded by JB Priestley himself
in 1929, has been rescued from liquidation. The Centre's Board had proposed
that it go into volunatry liquidation but members voted three to one
against the move at a special meeting and the Board resigned. Tom Sandford,
artistic director of Paradise Green Promotions (which runs Edinburgh
Fringe venues Augustine's and Greyfriar's Kirk House) but here acting
as a private individual, arranged a bank loan for the Centre and now
leads the Board.
The casting has been announced for the second National Theatre production
under the directorship of Nicholas Hytner. The stage premiere of His
Girl Friday (adapted by John Guare from the 1940s film of the same
name, which was based on the play The Front Page) will run alongside
Henry V, the casting for which was announced last
Taking the lead will be Alex Jennings and Zoë Wanamaker and the
cast will include Margaret Tyzack, Sam Beazley, Paul Birchard, Dermot
Crowley, Tony Haygarth, David Ross, Chris Ryan and Kerry Shale.
The play opens on 5th June (previews from 29th May).
Casting has also been announced for the new version of Pirandello's
Right You Are If You Think So, renamed Absolutely!! (Perhaps)
and adapted by Martin Sherman, which opens at Wyndham's on 20th May
(previews from 7th).
The cast will include Joan Plowright, Oliver Ford Davies, Anna Carteret,
Liza Tarbuck, Brid Brennan, Sian Brooke, Darrell D'Silva, Gawn Grainger,
Lolly Susi, Barry Stanton. The play is directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
Dubya Hits Town
Justin Butchers The Madness of George Dubya comes to London's
Arts Theatre on Wednesday. The satire was written earlier this year
to oppose the rising tide of lunatic US/British militarism in
the Gulf. Butcher is the author of the successful Pete Postlethwaite
one-man show, Scaramouche Jones.
Winslett and Dench
to Voice Cartoon Feature
Kate Winslett and Judi Dench are to play respectvely Juliet and the
Nurse in an animated version of Romeo and Juliet - renamed Gnomeo
and Juliet - being made by Rocket Films, the company owned by Elton
John, who will write the score. Also involved in the production are
Tim Rice and Disney Films.
Sondheim at the RoH
The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is to present its first musical,
Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. This is the second season that
of Antonio Pappano's tenure as music director at the RoH, and it will
also include the world premiere of Thomas Ades opera, The Tempest.
Pappano's first season included a production of The Wind in the Willows.
Extends - After One Week
The Broadway musical Ragtime, which opened at the Piccadilly last week,
has announced that it is extending its booking period by three months
to 6th September.
One-Woman Play at the
Celia Imrie is to star in Unsuspecting Susan, a one-woman play
by Stewart Permutt, at the King's Head Theatre from 12th May to 15th
June (previews from 6th May).
A number of London shows have announced extented booking periods:
- Les Miserables is now booking until 20th December
- My Fair Lady is now booking intul 20th December
- Phantom of the Opera is now booking until 20th December
- Joseph is now booking until 28th February, 2004
- Fame is now booking until 31st January, 2004
- The Rat Pack is now booking until 24th May
- Taboo, which recently announced it would close on 12th April,
has now re-extended by two weeks to 26th April
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