Marianne Elliott, Whoopi Goldberg & other news, treats & interesting titbits

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1. Marianne Elliott wasted no time in making headlines twice over last week – after the announcement of her departure from the National Theatre, it was officially been announced that she has teamed up with theatre producer Chris Harper to set up Elliott Harper Productions which will produce new work throughout 2017.

The first play in the season will be Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg which will be directed by Elliott and run at a yet-to-be confirmed venue in Autumn 2017. This will be followed by Oedipus to Antigone in a new adaptation by Yael Farber who will also direct.

But the highlight of the season looks set to be a modern revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company which will see the glorious Rosalie Craig take on the role of Bobbie, in a gender-reversed version of the musical about a confirmed bachelor that has been specially approved by Sondheim, once again directed by Elliott. Not much else is known about the production or even the season, but watch this space!

2. Though it may feel that the world needs another production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream like it needs a Trump presidency, Joe Hill-Gibbins is sure to make it one to remember at the Young Vic. And predictably, he’s got a great looking cast to help him. Announced so far are: Michael Gould as Oberon,Anastasia Hille as TitaniaLeo Bill as Bottom.John Dagleish as Lysander andJemima Rooper as HermiaOliver Alvin-Wilson as DemetriusAnna Madeley as Helenaand Matthew Steer as Peter Quince. A Midsummer Night’s Dream starts on 16 February 2017.

3. Casting news coming thick and fast – the London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s production of A Christmas Carol – The Musical has also revealed its cast.The concert will take place on 19 December 2016 at the Lyceum Theatre. Tackling the Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ hit Broadway show will be:

  • Robert Lindsay as Scrooge
  • John Addison as Fred Anderson
  • Madalena Alberto as the Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher as Emily
  • Giovanna Fletcher as Mrs Cratchit
  • Hugh Maynard as the Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Peter Polycarpou as Mr Fezziwig
  • Norman Bowman as Jacob Marley

4. Whoopi Goldberg is to perform her stand up show Whoopi Goldberg – Stand Up Live! for the first time in the UK. The Sister Act actress will appear onstage at the London Palladium for one night on 11 February 2017. I got to see her in the musical version of Sister Act in her brief run at the same venue but her stand-up promises to be something else entirely.

5. The musical version of Fantastic Mr Fox opens this week at Southampton’s Nuffield, ahead of a London run at the Lyric Hammersmith from late January, and there’s a first look at some of the songs in with this interview with composer Arthur Darvill.

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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