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Production news round-up: Jonathan Pryce to star in new Florian Zeller play and Ian McKellen’s King Lear confirms West End run

Jonathan Pryce (Shylock) in The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare @ Shakespeare's Globe Jonathan Pryce (Shylock) in The Merchant Of Venice at Shakespeare's Globe. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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This week in production news it has been announced that Game of Thrones actor Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins are to star in a new Florian Zeller play. Other announcements include the West End transfer of King Lear starring Ian McKellen.


The 1983 film Local Hero is to be turned into a musical by David Greig and original filmmaker Bill Forsyth, with music by Mark Knopfler. It will open at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in 2019, before transferring to the Old Vic in London.
Authors: David Greig, Bill Forsyth (book), Mark Knopfler (music and lyrics)
Director: David Greig
Producers: Royal Lyceum and the Old Vic


Scottish film Local Hero to be adapted as stage musical

A new musical centred around a family secret called Pieces of String has been announced to run at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. It will run from April 20 to May 5, with press night on April 27.
Author: Gus Gowland
Director: Ryan McBryde
Producer: Mercury Theatre Colchester

John Barrowman will return to the stage in London to appear in the next instalment of Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway @ Leicester Square Theatre concert series. They will take place at the London venue from April 13 and 14.
Producer: Mark Cortale
Read original story here

Rebecca Trehearn has been cast in Sweet Charity as part of the Nottingham Playhouse’s new season. Martina Laird is to join Karl Collins in Nottingham-based play Shebeen, written by the winner of the 2017 Alfred Fagon award Mufaro Makubiko. The season also includes the world premiere of Lava by James Fritz, which will run in the Neville Studio from June 14 to 30.

Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington will reprise their roles from Bat Out of Hell – the Musical, when the show returns to London later this year. The Jim Steinman musical originally ran at the Coliseum in London, and will play the Dominion Theatre from April 2 this year.
Author: Jim Steinman
Director: Jay Scheib
Design: Jon Bausor (set and costumes), Finn Ross (video), Patrick Woodroffe (lighting) and Gareth Owen (sound).
Cast also includes: Rob Fowler, Sharon Sexton, Alex-Thomas Smith, Danielle Steers, Wayne Robinson, Giovanni Spano and Patrick Sullivan.
Producers: David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox and Tony Smith

The Stage Debut Award winner Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington are to reprise their role in Bat Out of Hell


Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins are to star in a new play called The Height of the Storm, which will open at the Richmond Theatre on September 1 and play Cambridge Arts Theatre and Bath Theatre Royal before transferring to the West End. It will open at Wyndham’s Theatre on October 2, with press night on October 9.
Author: Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton
Director: Jonathan Kent
Producers: Simon Friend, Mark Goucher and Howard Panter, with co-producers Gavin Kalin, Act Productions and Scott Landis
Read original story here

King Lear, starring Ian McKellen, has confirmed a transfer to the West End. The ensemble production ran at Chichester Festival Theatre last year and will run at the Duke of York’s in London from July 11 to November 3.
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Jonathan Munby
Design: Paul Wills (set), Oliver Fenwick (lighting), Ben and Max Ringham (sound and music)
Movement: Lucy Cullingford
Fight direction: Kate Waters
Producers: ATG Productions, Chichester Festival Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions
Read original story here

A production exploring the impact of pornography on children that is based on interviews with 10,000 young people and supported by actors including Emma Thompson and Gemma Arterton will premiere at Southwark Playhouse later this year. Why Is the Sky Blue? (Or How to Make Slime) will run April 26 to May 19, with press night on May 1.
Devised by: Tackroom Theatre
Director: Abbey Wright, with Shireen Mula
Producer: Tackroom Theatre

Emma Thompson and Gemma Arterton back play about pornography’s impact on children

Austentatious: The Improvised Jane Austen Novel is to extend its run in the West End. Three further performances have been added at London’s Savoy Theatre on March 18, April 15 and May 20.
Producer: Underbelly Productions

New-writing company Paines Plough has announced its 2018 season of work, including a premiere by Anna Jordan called Pop Music, which will be co-produced with Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The company’s pop-up theatre, Roundabout, returns with three new plays by Georgia Christou, Simon Longman and Vinay Patel, produced with Theatr Clwyd. Elsewhere the company will produce I Wanna Be Yours by Zia Ahmed, with Tamasha, and Isley Lynn’s Albatross, with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Gate Theatre.

Theatre Royal Bath has announced the opening productions for its summer season, which includes a transfer of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband from the West End. Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory will present Henry V from June 21 to July 21 in the theatre’s Ustinov Studio.

Elizabeth Berrington and Tanya Moodie are to star in the UK premiere of workplace drama Rasheeda Speaking. It opens at Trafalgar Studios 2 on April 20, with previews from April 18, and runs until May 12.
Author: Joel Drake Johnson
Director: Jonathan O’Boyle
Producer: Troupe

Tanya Moodie in Joanne at Soho Theatre. Photo: Katherine Leedale
Tanya Moodie in Joanne at Soho Theatre. Photo: Katherine Leedale

Jonathan Broadbent, Selina Cadell and Belinda Lang have been cast in Humble Boy at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. They are joined by Paul Bradley, Rebekah Hinds and Christopher Ravenscroft. It runs from March 8 to April 14, with press night on March 12.
Author: Charlotte Jones
Director: Paul Miller
Design: Simon Daw (set), Mark Doubleday (lighting), Max Pappenheim (sound)
Producer: Orange Tree Theatre

Children’s TV show Bing Live! is being adapted for the stage for the first time, touring more than 50 venues later this year. The production of the CBeebies show will open at the Alban Arena in St Albans on June 20, touring until November 25.
Author: Helen Eastman
Design: Tahra Zafar (costumes and puppets)
Producer: BB Live Ltd for Minor Entertainment Group

New casting has been announced for Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About a Bank Robbery in the West End at the Criterion Theatre, ahead of the production’s second birthday.
Authors: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields
Director: Mark Bell with Nancy Zamit
Cast includes: Samson Ajewole, Jenna Augen, Jack Baldwin, Leonard Cook, Matt Douglas-Hunt, Peter McGovern, Samuel Fogell, Holly Sumpton, Chris Leask, and understudies Jack Whittle, Lydia Fraser, Jean-Luke Worrell, Samuel Thomas and Sarah Gage
Producer: Kenny Wax

Cressida Bonas has been cast in The Dog Beneath the Skin at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre. It runs from March 7 to 31.
Authors: WH Auden, Christopher Isherwood
Director: Jimmy Walters
Cast includes: Pete Ashmore, Edmund Digby Jones, Eva Feiler, Rujenne Green, James Marlowe, Suzann McLean, and Adam Sopp
Producer: Proud Haddock

Playwright April De Angelis is adapting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for Manchester’s Royal Exchange. It will run from March 9 to April 14 with press night on March 13.
Director: Matthew Xia
Producer: Royal Exchange

Olivier-award winning actress Suzan Sylvester will play the role of mother Evelyn in Kindertransport at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, having performed as daughter Faith in the 1993 premiere production. The revival will run from March 8 to 24.
Author: Diane Samuels
Director: Anne Simon
Cast includes: Hannah Bristow, Leila Schaus, Catherine Janke, Jenny Lee and Matthew Brown
Producer: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg in association with Selladoor Productions

The Shape of the Pain, a show about a love affair seen through the eyes of someone with complex regional pain syndrome, will open at London’s Battersea Arts Centre on February 20. It will run until March 10, with press night on February 22.
Authors: Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe
Director: Rachel Bagshaw
Producer: China Plate

Vincent River will run at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester from February 27 to March 24.
Author: Philip Ridley
Director: John Young
Cast: Joyce Branagh and Dominic Holmes
Producer: Yet Another Carnival and Hope Mill Theatre

Theatre company Wet Picnic will be touring a new, immersive show about technology addiction, which uses headphones, called I’d Be Lost Without It. It will open in Salisbury on February 23 and visit locations including Brighton, Reading, Stratford in London, and Oxford, where it runs until March 16.
Producer: Wet Picnic

Poster image for I’d Be Lost Without It


Lady Windermere’s Fan starring Jennifer Saunders will be broadcast to cinemas. It will be shown in 420 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on March 20.
Author: Oscar Wilde
Director: Kathy Burke
Producer: Classic Spring Theatre Company

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