19th September, 1999
Lloyd Webber and Elton Collaborate on Football Musical
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton are reported to be working together on a new musical called The Beautiful Game, based on the life of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, who starved himself to death in the Maze prison in 1981.
Before the Northern Ireland Troubles exploded in 1969, the teenage Sands was a member of a Belfast non-sectarian football team, Star of the Sea. One of his fellow team members was later imprisoned for loyalist terroritst activity.
Elton has already produced a script outline and Lloyd Webber is working on the music, which is said to have a strong Celtic influence.
Be an Olivier Judge
The Society of London Theatre is looking for twelve members of the public to serve on the three judging panels for next year's Olivier Awards. The are looking for eight people to serve on the plays panel (four for straight plays and four for muscials) and two each for the Dance and Opera panels.
The theatre panel will consist of five professionals as well as the eight members of the public. Members will be expected to see 60 productions between 1st January and 31st December, 2000, and they will be provided with two complimentary tickets for each show.
If you are interested, you can pick up a leaflet at any West End Theatre, or you can write to SOLT at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, or you can phone for an application form on 0171 557 6777. The closing date for applications is 15th November.
Anna Weiss Comes to the West End
Mike Cullen's play Anna Weiss, which premiered at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe to great acclaim (including being judged my best show), is expected at the Whitehall some time in November. It will be directed by James Kerr. No other details are available yet.
Bonham Carter and Branagh Split
Those who are interested in that sort of thing will be interested to know that Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh have ended their five-year relationship.
Cruise and Kidman Support Dundee
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have become patrons of Dundee Rep after Iain Glen, who starred wth Kidman in The Blue Room, approached them on behalf of his brother Hamish, the theatre's artistic director.
Hornblower Wins Emmy
United Productions' Hornblower has one a PrimeTime Emmy, beating PBS' Great Expectations and CBS' Joan of Arc. Hornblower is the one of the most expensive ever British TV dramas.
O'Toole Play for BBC2
The Peter O'Toole hit play Jerrey Bernard Is Unwell began filming this week. It was always planned that it should be released on video but it now appears that BBC2 has bought the TV rights and it is expected to be aired at Christmas.
Russell to Direct Weill Play
Cinema's aging enfant terrible Ken Russell is to direct a play about Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. The play is written by and stars Judith Paris and will open on 21st December, running till 5th February, marking the centenary of Weill's birth.