Production news round-up: casting for Take That musical and programme for Dance Umbrella festival

Charlotte Spencer Projects' Is This A Waste Land is part of London's Dance Umbrella festival. Photo: Pari Naderi
by -

In this week’s production news round-up the casting for Take That musical the Band is announced alongside the programme of London’s international dance festival Dance Umbrella. There is also news from London’s Donmar Warehouse, the National Theatre’s production of the musical Follies, and Manchester’s Royal Exchange.


Yael Farber is to make her Donmar Warehouse directing debut with a version of David Harrower’s Knives in Hens, which runs from August 17 to October 7. It forms part of the London venue’s autumn programme, which also sees Elinor Cook adapt The Lady from the Sea. Cook’s new version of Ibsen’s play will be directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and will star Nikki Amuka-Bird.
Read original story here

Michelle Fairley, Faye Marsay and Mark Hadfield have been cast in Jim Cartwright’s Road at the Royal Court in London. They will be joined by Mike Noble, Dan Parr, Lemn Sissay, June Watson, Liz White and Shane Zaza in the production, which runs from July 21 to September 9, with press night on July 28.
Director: John Tiffany
Design: Chloe Lamford (set), Lee Curran (lighting), Gareth Fry (sound)
Movement: Jonathan Watkins
Producer: Royal Court

Chris Goode is to adapt Derek Jarman’s cult film Jubilee for the stage at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. The production will star original film cast member Toyah Willcox, and opens in November. It forms part of the Royal Exchange’s autumn season, which also includes a new production of Our House, directed by Sarah Frankcom, and Guys and Dolls – co-produced with Talawa Theatre Company and featuring choreography by Boy Blue Entertainment’s Kendrick H2O Sandy.
Read original story here

Shakespeare’s Globe in London has announced casting for its production of Much Ado About Nothing, which is set in revolutionary Mexico in 1910. The production will run from July 14 to October 15, with press night on July 20.
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Matthew Dunster
Cast: Beatriz Romilly, Matthew Needham, Anya Chalotra, Marcello Cruz, Martin Marquez, Steve John Shepherd and Ewan Wardrop
Producer: Shakespeare’s Globe

Theatre Royal Stratford East in London has announced an all-transgender cast for the world premiere of Summer in London, a play about four young homeless men. The show will run from July 8 to July 29, with press night on July 13.
Author and director: Rikki Beadle-Blair
Cast: Tigger Blaize, Kimberley Clarke, Tyler Luke Cunningham, Emma Frankland, Victoria Gigante, Ash Palmisciano and Kamari Romeo
Producer: Theatre Royal Stratford East

Julian Clary is to star in the world premiere of a new play by Stephen Clark. Le Grand Mort is billed as a ‘black comedy’, and was written especially for Clary by Clark, who died last year. It will run at Trafalgar Studios from September 20 to October 28, with press night on September 25.
Director: Christopher Renshaw
Design: Justin Nardella (set), Jamie Platt (lighting)
Producer: Danielle Tarento

Northern Stage
in Newcastle upon Tyne has announced its autumn season, which includes A Song For Ella Grey, adapted from David Almond’s novel, on September 5 to 16. Other highlights include a dance production of Alice in Wonderland, a production from Market Theatre called The Suitcase and Pink Sari Revolution, directed by Saba Das.

The Orange Three Theatre’s An Octoroon has extended its run at the Richmond Theatre by a week. The play will now close on July 1.
Author: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Director: Ned Bennett
Producer: Orange Tree Theatre

Shoreditch Town Hall in London has announced additional shows for its 2017 season, including No Miracles Here from The Letter Room. The Claim, about refugee asylum seekers, has also been added to the programme, along with the Almeida Young Company’s From the Ground Up.

A new show from Requardt and Rosenberg called DeadClub at London’s the Place will feature as part of theatre company Fuel’s Autumn season. Other highlights include a production of The Hartlepool Monkey at London’s Stratford Arts Centre followed by a UK tour and a touring production of An Evening With an Immigrant by Inua Ellams.

Northern Broadsides is to stage For Love or Money, a new adaptation of the 18th-century comedy Turcaret. Directed by and starring Barrie Rutter, the production will premiere at the Viaduct Theatre Halifax from September 14 to 23, before touring until December.
Author: Blake Morrison
Producer: Northern Broadsides

London’s Royal Court Theatre has announced casting for its production of Bodies. The production will run from July 5 to August 12.
Author: Vivienne Franzmann
Director: Jude Christian
Cast: Lorna Brown, Brian Ferguson, Philip Goldacre, Salma Hoque, Justine Mitchell and Hannah Rae

A production of The Borrowers from Polka Theatre in London will run from June 6 to August 20. Press night for the production, which uses puppetry and music, will be on June 24.
Author: Mary Norton, adapted by Charles Way
Director: Lee Lyford
Cast: Charlotte Dubery, Amanda Gordon, Phil Yarrow, Emma Keele, Will Howard, Troy Glasgow
Producer: Polka Theatre


Full casting has been announced for touring musical The Band, which has music by Take That. The show, which features the winners of TV talent competition Let It Shine, opens at Manchester Opera House on September 8 before touring until July 2018.
Authors: Take That (music and lyrics), Tim Firth (book)
Directors: Kim Gavin, Jack Ryder
Design: Jon Bausor (set), Patrick Woodroffe (lighting), Terry Jardine, Nick Lidster (sound), Luke Halls (video)
Cast: Rachel Lumberg, Faye Christall, Emily Joyce, Alison Fitzjohn, Jayne McKenna, Katy Clayton, Sarah Kate Howarth, Lauren Jacobs, Rachelle Diedricks, Martin Miller and Andy Williams
Producers: David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, with Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams
Read original story here

Zizi Strallen will join the cast of Follies at the National Theatre, in a production that stars the previously announced Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett. The Stephen Sondheim musical, which is being staged at the National Theatre for the first time, runs from August 22 to November 4, with press night on September 6.
Authors: Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics), James Goldman (book)
Director: Dominic Cooke
Design: Vicki Mortimer (set), Paule Constable (lighting), Paul Groothuis (sound)
Choreographer: Bill Deamer
Cast also includes: Philip Quast, Dawn Hope, Leisha Mollyneaux
Producer: National Theatre
Read original story here


Dance Umbrella, London’s festival of international dance, has announced its 2017 programme, which opens with Satchie Noro and Silvain Ohl’s outdoor performance Origami on a 40ft shipping container at Battersea Power Station. Other highlights at the festival, which runs from October 11 to 28, include Rocio Molina’s Fallen from Heaven (Caida del Cielo), an outdoor interactive performance of Is This a Waste Land? from Charlotte Spencer Projects and Dot by Spanish company Cia Maduixa.

Comedians including Nish Kumar and Andrew Lawrence will perform in a show to raise money for mental health charity Mind. The fundraiser, which will also feature cabaret and variety acts including previous Britain’s Got Talent finalists Jamie Raven and Steve Hewlett, will show at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on June 18 at 8pm.

Candoco dance company has announced a new commission by Yasmeen Godder, Face In, to be performed by a company of both disabled and non-disabled dancers. It is the last commission from Candoco artistic directors Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado before they step down. Face In will tour the UK and Europe from October.