Dateline 11th June, 2000
Ormond to star in West End premiere
Film star Julia Ormond is to return to the stage for the first time in many years in September when she will star in the world premiere of David Hare's latest play My Zinc Bed at the Royal Court Downstairs. Also in the cast of this three-hander will be Tom Wilkinson and Steven Mackintocs. Hare himself is expected to direct.
Hard Times get even harder
Hard Times, the musical based on the Dicken's novel, faced additional problems on its third night last week when one of the stars of the show, Roy Hudd, fell victim to laryngitis and the performance had to be cancelled at the end of Act I, after management announced that his understudy had not had sufficient rehearsal to take over. Members of the audience were offered their money back or tickets for another performance, but were told that they had to return to the theatre the following day as the box office was closed.
The musical has not been a critical success: the Telegraph's Charles Spencer claimed "The show doesn't stand a prayer" and claimed it was "hard times for the audience."
Old Vic to be dance venue
The Old Vic is to play host to dance company Adventures in Motion Pictures for at least four years from early 2002. In the first four years of the residency, AMP will mount six new productions, directed by Matthew Bourne, as well as touring nationally and internationally and running education and apprentice schemes.
AMP, best known for its ground-breaking all-male version of Swan Lake, gives a foretaste of things to come in September when it will present its current production The car Man, a Carmen-like tale set in a car body shop. The production is currently touring the regions, having premiered at Plymouth last month.
The Old Vic residency is expected to include a 30-strong team of dancers as well as creative, technical and management staff.
Closer to Heaven with ALW and the Pet Shop Boys
The Really Useful Group is to develop Closer to Heaven, a musical written by pop group the Pet Shop Boys and has an option to produce it in the West End.
Alan Rickman and Glenda Jackson are among theatrical stars who will perform in a fundraising Gala for the Burmese pro-democracy movement It will be held at the Royal Court next Sunday (18th June) and will mark the 55th birthday of imprisoned Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Alan Plater has written for the show, as have Maureen Lipman and Meera Syal, and Philip hedley (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) will direct. Tickets are £75.
Rent to tour
After suffering delays and postponement, it looks as though the proposed national tour of Rent will now go ahead. Keir Mitchell Productions had run into financing difficulties but the tour was saved when Adam Kenwright and Mark Groucher obtained the rights and will work with the Haymarket, Leicester, to play it there and then tour for much of 2001.
Stewart "unprofessional" says American Equity
Patrick Stewart behaved in an "unprofessional manner" when he attacked the Shubert Theatre Organisation in a curtain speech after two performances of Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt Morgan at New York's Ambassador Theatre and must apologise, the American Actors Equity has decided, after Shubert complained to the union.