World premieres in Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2020 include first plays by Steven Moffat and Kate Mosse and new work by Suhayla El-Bushra and Christopher Shinn.
Frankly, I had qualms about Hugh Bonneville in the role of CS Lewis in Shadowlands: too handsome, too familiar in his evocations of dullish decent steadiness, but before many minutes in the chaffing Common Room scenes which open the play, I could see the point.
Shadowlands isn’t an all-out weepie but there are a few who will find it hard to control their emotions. A well made and moving revival.
Shadowlands, the William Nicholson play that charts the story of C.S. Lewis’ correspondence-turned-relationship with the American poet Joy Gresham, is such a perfect fit for the Chichester audience it’s almost a surprise it isn’t a regular feature here.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2019 has been announced by artistic director Daniel Evans. It includes John Simm & Dervla Kirwan in Macbeth, Hugh Bonneville in Shadowlands & Tim Firth’s first solo musical starring James Nesbitt.
David Edgar’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, directed as last year by Rachel Kavanaugh, gives the old story of ghosts and redemption deft additions and expanded scenes
Rattigan’s truly powerful dialogue for The Winslow Boy, coupled with Kavanaugh’s subtle directing style, create a piece that is undeniably touching and that audiences will not be quick to forget.
The RSC’s new winter 2018 season will include new productions of Troilus and Cressida, Tamburlaine, and Timon of Athens (featuring Kathryn Hunter in the lead role).
This year’s seasonal offering in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a grand affair as David Edgar (it was he who famously adapted Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby for the company back in 1980) tackles A Christmas Carol.
A new West End production opened this week in one of the most prestigious theatres in London, the show was The Wind In The Willows. Previously touring, it’s now hit London for a limited run at the London Palladium.
Following the antics of Mr Toad of Toad Hall, The Wind in the Willows is a story about friendship and loyalty – seeing Rat, Mole and Badger standing with the boisterous Toad despite everything he does and all his crazes including motorcars.
3. The Choreography: Andrew Wright’s wonderfully energetic and elegant choreography not only captures the era in which the musical is set perfect, but also the spirit and joyfulness of the musical as a whole.
Rachel Kavanaugh has created a delightfully light footed production that leaves the audience beaming for joy. This wonderfully perky musical is a classic rags to riches story that shows that money really doesn’t buy happiness, wonderfully told through the story of Arthur Kipps an orphan who works as a drapers assistant until he unexpectedly comes into the money.
It’s rare to watch a West End musical that is so wonderfully British – and Half a Sixpence really is just that, in so many ways. The direction, choreography and music of the piece frame the energy wonderfully.
Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Gregory Doran today announced the company’s winter 2017 season, including the world premiere of Imperium, an epic, two-part page-to-stage adaptation of Robert Harris‘ best-selling novels about Roman politician Cicero, adapted by Wolf Hall‘s Mike Poulton and directed by Doran, and the West End transfer of Helen Edmundson‘s new play Queen Anne, starring Romola Garai and Emma …
The musical Half a Sixpence bounds into the West End from Chichester, newly adapted by Julian Fellowes, with a spring in its step and an infectious grin. The story of Arthur Kipps, a lowly haberdashers’ assistant who comes into money but ultimately questions what happiness it brings, is brought to life in a visually beautiful production directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have given the 1963 David Henecker score a complete re-boot with new songs which fit seamlessly into the story – their ragtime ‘Pick Out A Simple Tune’ being an absolute stunner in Andrew Wright’s mercilessly energetic choreography.
Kenneth Grahame’s story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and the irrepressible Toad have been a favourite of many for longer than they can remember – I grew up delighting in the stop-motion version and have long been a staple for adaptation on both stage and screen, Grahame’s skilful evocation of a pastoral England that no longer exists (and may never have) is infinitely comforting and inviting.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS will transfer to the West End’s London Palladium next summer, previewing from 17 June 2017, with opening night on 29 June 2017. Rufus Hound will reprise his role as Mr Toad with further West End casting to be announced. TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE VIA MY THEATRE MATES…
It has been confirmed that the musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, currently running at The Lowry in Salford as part of its UK tour, will transfer to the London Palladium in the summer of 2017.
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