When mass media batters you relentlessly with depressing news, it’s important to have some counter-points to cheer yourself up. For some, it might be sport or showbiz gossip – for us, unsurprisingly, new theatre news never fails to excite. Here’s some of our favourite info from the past week!
- Mark Rylance is a firm favourite of the site and confirmation that Nice Fish, the play co-written with Louis Jenkins and directed by Rylance’s partner and long-time collaborator Claire van Kampen, would be coming to the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited season is good news indeed. A wry look at life in the American Midwest, Nice Fish stars Rylance and Jim Lichtscheidl as old friends whose everyday life is exposed on an ice-fishing trip. If you head to the theatre dressed as a fisherman or catch you might even net free tickets! Nice Fish opens on 15 November for a strictly limited season.
- Following the critically acclaimed, sold out productions of The Dazzle and Bug at Found111, Emily Dobbs Productions is thrilled to present the London premiere of Unfaithful, Owen McCafferty’s blackly comic new play starring Sean Campion, Niamh Cusack, Ruta Gedmintas and Matthew Lewis. Unfaithful questions what it means to be lovers, partners and people. Directed by Adam Penford, it runs for a six-week season at the pop-up venue, the original site of the Central St Martins School of Art, at 111 Charing Cross Road, on Thursday 25 August.
- Over the river at the Old Vic, the world premiere of No’s Knife, a fascinating journey into the world of Samuel Beckett, will take place in September. The piece, conceived and performed by Lisa Dwan and co-directed by Joe Murphy, offers a searing, personal reflection on Texts for Nothing, Beckett’s most startlingly original work. No’s Knife‘s limited season runs 29 September to 15 October 2016.
Several major Musical Theatre stars are to headline a concert production of Godspell, the heart-lifting feel-good Broadway musical from Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 August.
Leading a cast of talented new young performers to launch of The British Theatre Academy will be Broadway and West End Wicked Star Kerry Ellis, Olivier Nominated Preeya Kalidas (Bend It Like Beckham) and Tony-nominated Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean in Les Mirerables and the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera).
A timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love, Godspell, will be directed by Dean Johnson with musical direction by Michael Bradley (Grey Gardens). The evening will be hosted by Mark Shenton, associate editor and joint lead critic of The Stage.
The British Theatre Academy has been set up to give young people who cannot afford to access theatre training the opportunity to work with top creatives in venues around the country.
British Theatre Academy Artistic Director Matthew Chandler said: “I am delighted that Kerry, Ramin and Preeya are giving our kids the opportunity to work with such amazing, inspiring, world class talents. Godspell promises to be an unforgettable expeience for them all.”
Tickets from £17:50 can be booked at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/thebritishtheatreacademy.
Proceeds will go to continuing the great work of THE BTA giving young people the chance to perform for free.
Kerry Ellis said: “It’s so great to have the opportunity to work with new talent who have passion for the arts, that’s exactly what the kids from the British Theatre Academy are all about’.”
Preeya added: “I’m so excited to be able to go back to where to all began for me”.
This Autumn, Lauren Samuels (Bend it Like Beckham, BBC’s Over the Rainbow, Grease), Ashleigh Gray (Wicked, Cool Rider) and Lizzy Connolly (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Xanadu) star in the European debut of Vanities, a classic American story. This brand new production features never before seen material with all new direction and choreography from Racky Plews (Footloose, American Idiot).
Following acclaimed runs in Seattle, Houston, New York, and Los Angeles, Vanities makes its London debut for the 10th anniversary of the musical (book by Jack Heifner and music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and 40th anniversary of the play.
Vanities is a hilarious and heartfelt story about three best friends growing up in Dallas at a time when image and style were more important than brains and ambition. Through a rich original score that blends girl group harmonies of the 60s and 70s with contemporary musical theatre, Vanities explores how these women’s warped view of the world shaped them for better and worse.
Running Through September at Trafalgar Studios 2, more info at http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/vanities-the-musical/trafalgar-studios
(wearing an exact copy of Princess Margaret’s Poltimore tiara),
as HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Photo credit: Gareth McLeod
Stephanie Beacham will be donning a tiara to play Princess Margaret in A Princess Undone, a new play by Richard Stirling.
Kensington Palace, 1993. She was the Diana of her day. That day has gone. But HRH The Princess Margaret, the most glamorous figure of her generation, has a final chance to be of service. While the Royal Family is at Balmoral, she removes several bags of correspondence from the Queen Mother’s home, including potentially sensational letters from Prince Charles – and Diana, Princess of Wales. She means to burn them all. But there are other papers. Some of them relate to Margaret herself, and a scandal as dangerous as anything since. When an ex-gangster arrives to bring her even closer to her past, the Queen’s sister has the choice to make or break her family yet again.
Inspired by actual events, A Princess Undone, which has its world premiere at Cambridge Arts Theatre, Wednesday 19 – Saturday 22 October, sheds light on one of the Royal Family’s most controversial, enigmatic members.
Witty, charming and provocative, yet ultimately on her own, Princess Margaret is not easily forgotten.
Stephanie Beacham, world-famous and acclaimed for her work on television (The Colbys, Dynasty, Bad Girls), film and stage, returns to the theatre to create a role as iconic as any she has played before.
With a star cast including Jason Merrells (Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, currently starring in Alan Aykbourn’s How the Other Half Loves in the West End) as ex-gangster John Bindon, and an award-winning creative team headed by Director Matthew Gould, this riveting new play promises to be one of the most talked-about of the year!
Further dates include: Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 November, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne; Monday 7 – Saturday 12 November, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.
All this and Titanic announced a one week extension – so if you haven’t managed to see it yet you’ve now got an extra week of performances to get along to and it really shouldn’t be missed! Check out the picture below for the show’s entry into this year’s West End Bakeoff!