Dateline 16th January, 2000
Witches features Crawford return
Michael Crawford makes his return to the West End stage in June in the new Cameron Mackintosh musical, The Wiches of Eastwick, in which he will play the Jack Nicholson part. No other casting has been confirmed, but there are rumours that the three women will be played by Lucie Arnaz (daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz), Joanna Riding and Maria Friedman.
The show, which will be at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is due to open on 13th June (previewing from 26th May). This will be Crawford's first West End appearance since Phantom of the Opera.
Golden Quill for Branagh
The Washington (DC) Shakespeare Guild is presenting Kenneth Branagh with its Gielgud Award (the Golden Quill) at a reception in the Middle Temple Hall today. After the presentation, there will be a performance in his honour, featuring Richard Briers, Helena Bonham Carter, Bob Hoskins, Derek Jacobi and Geraldine McEwan.
The award is given to artists who extend and enhance Shakespeare's legacy, and past recipients include Jacobi, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
Marber the Actor
Patrick Marber, author of hit play Closer, is to make his acting debut in a production of Mamet's Speed-the-Plough, which opens at the Oxford Playhouse on 23rd February and will then tour to Richmond and Brighton before transferring to the New Ambassadors for a run from 14th March to 22nd April.
The musical Tess, based on Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, has closed after only nine weeks. It was announced on Monday 10th January that it would close on Saturday 15th but in fact closed the next day (Tuesday). Industry rumour has it that the production company has gone into receivership but we have had no confirmation as yet.
New career for Michael Caine?
Michael Caine has let it be known that he is in the process of writing a novel. It is a thriller which, he says, was written to amuse himself and he hops that it will amuse others. He finished it in a rush, he says, and now has to go back and tidy it up - one of the characters was actually killed twice he realised when he finished!