31st March, 2002
RSC Plans Backed,
but Concerns Remain
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee has approved
the Royal Shakespeare Company's plans to replace the Shakespeare Memorial
Theatre in Stratford but have concerns that the £100,000 set aside
by the company will not be enough to cover the costs. The chairman of
the all-party committee, Gerald Kaufman, said that their visit to Stratford
had forced them to agree that the theatre's facilities are "inadequate"
and "squalid", but they still have concerns over costs and
that the amount the RSC had set side would not be enough.
London's Players' Theatre has been closed: bailiffs entered the premises
on 25th March and changed the locks. The company owes the landlords
over £500,000, having not paid any rent for some years. According
to a spokesman for the landlords' agents, attempts have been made to
set up payment plans but they had not been successful.
They regret, they said, the closure of what is probably the longest
running music hall in the UK. The future of the theatre, which is built
into the Hungerford arches under Charig Cross station, is now uncertain.
Dudley Moore Dies
Comedian, actor and jazz musician Dudley Moore has died at his home
in New Jersey at the age of 66. He had been suffering from a degenerative
brain disease for some years and was in a wheelchair when he received
his CBE at Buckingham Palace last year.
Jennings Joins My
Alex Jennings, best known for his roles with the National Theatre and
the Royal Shakespeare Company, is to make his musical theatre debut
in My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, when he takes
over the role of Professor Higgins on 22nd April. At the same time Malcolm
Sinclair takes over as Colonel Pickering, Peter Prentice as Freddy Eynsfrod-Hill
and Dilys Laye as Mrs Pearce. Caroline Blakison (Mrs Pearce), Joanna
Riding (Eliza Doolittle) and Dennis Waterman (Alfred Doolittle) from
the current cast remain in their roles..
Charlotte Jones' play Humble Boy, which transferred to the Gielgud
from the National Theatre, has extended its run for the second time
in two weeks. It is now booking to 30th November.
Powers for King
and I Tour
Stefanie Powers, the American film and TV star, is to play the lead
in the first stage of the national tour of the The King and I.
She will play the part of Anna at the Edinburgh Playhouse (19th April
to 18th May) and the Manchester Opera House (21st May to 29th June).
For the rest of the tour (until March 2003), the part will be played
by Marti Webb.
After Manchester, the production will tour to Southampton, Plymouth,
Bristol, Oxford, Sunderland, Liverpool, Birmingham, Woking and Bradford.
Further dates will be announced later.
The production of Doctor Faustus at the Young Vic, starring Jude
Law, has been extended by a week after four performances were cancelled
because of Law's knee injury. The run will now close on 4th May.
Close to Appear
in the West End
Glenn Close has confirmed that she will appear in a new revival of Tennessee
Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire in the West End. This coincides
with a rumour that Trevor Nunn is to direct a production of the same
play at the National Theatre. Commentators are now putting two and two
New Maxwell Play for
Variety, a new play by Scottish writer Douglas Maxwell, will
be one of the new works featured in this years's Edinburgh International
Festival. It will play at the King's Theatre from 12th to 17th August
and will be produced by Grid Iron Theatre, the company which had a major
success with Maxwell's Decky Does a Bronco, an outdoors piece
premiered at the Fringe.
Spin-off Opens This Week
Have I Got Muse for You, a play based on the popular TV programme
Pop Idol, opens at London Fringe venue the Old Red Lion this
week. Produced by the Cock a Snook Theatre Company, it runs from the
2nd to 20th April.
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