Production news round-up: Alexandra Burke to star in Chess and adaptation of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion announced
This week’s production news includes new stage adaptations of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. Elsewhere, casting has been announced for the West End revival of Chess.
New plays by Mark Ravenhill, Debbie Tucker Green and Rory Mullarkey feature in the Royal Court Theatre’s new season. Ravenhill’s The Cane will be directed by Vicky Featherstone and will run from December. The main stage season also includes Ear for Eye, by Tucker Green, Mullarkey’s Pity and a new work by poet, musician and dancer Deborah ‘Debris’ Stevenson. The programme also includes plays by Thomas Eccleshare, Anthony Neilson, Cordelia Lynn, Robert Alan Evans, Lies Pauwels and RashDash collaborating with Ellie Kendrick.
Romola Garai has been cast in the title role in Ella Hickson’s new play, The Writer. The play premieres at the Almeida Theatre in north London in April, running from April 14 to May 26.
Director: Blanche McIntyre
Design: Anna Fleischle (set), Richard Howell (lighting), Emma Laxton (sound)
Movement: Sasha Milavic Davies
Casting: Julia Horan
Producer: Almeida Theatre
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Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones is being adapted for the stage by playwright Bryony Lavery. The play will open at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton on September 1 before transferring to Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Northern Stage and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. It will also play at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, where it will run from November 13 to November 17.
Author: Bryony Lavery
Director: Kelly Still
Producers: Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Royal and Derngate and Northern Stage, in association with the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
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Jermyn Street Theatre in London has announced its “most ambitious season” in the venue’s 24-year history, called The Reaction Season, which runs from April 10 to August 18. It will feature the first complete London revival of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8.30, which includes nine one-act plays, since 1936. The series will play in repertory with Tomorrow at Noon, a trio of plays by Jenny Ayres, Emma Harding, and Morna Young, each of which reacts to one of Coward’s Tonight at 8.30 plays.
YouTube personality Tanya Burr is to star in a revival of Jane Upton’s Confidence at the Southwark Playhouse in London. It runs from May 23 to June 16, with press night on May 25.
Director: Rob Drummer
Producer: Southwark Playhouse
Rufus Hound, Penelope Keith and Caroline Quentin are to star in Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2018 season, which will feature a 50/50 gender-split of actors. The 2018 programme includes a summer run of musical Me and My Girl, directed by Evans and starring Quentin, and Laura Wade’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons. This will be directed by Samuel West, opening in November in the Minerva.
Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion is being adapted into a stage production that has been described as a cross between an “atheist support group and watching a great stand-up”. The God Delusion will be staged at the Blue Box Theatre in Chorlton from May 18 to 26.
Author: Thomas Moore
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Louise Jameson is to star with recent graduate Thomas Mahy, who makes his London stage debut, in Philip Ridley’s Vincent River. The play will run at London’s Park Theatre from March 20 to April 14, with press night on March 23.
Author: Philip Ridley
Director: Robert Chevara
Producer: Celia Dugua in association with Park Theatre
The London Premiere of Paterson Joseph’s Sancho: An Act of Remembrance will feature as part of Wilton Music Hall in London’s new season. The season will also feature Camille O’Sullivan’s show The Carny Dream, which runs from April 10 to 21, and Christopher Green’s Music Hall Monster: The Insatiable Mr Fred Barnes. Two contemporary retellings of Shakespeare plays from Flabbergast Theatre and the Faction are also included in the season.
Doctor and the Medics star Clive Jackson is to play every speaking role in a new re-imagining of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe Zest – Edgar Allan Poe: Reimagined by Mike Bennett will run at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on March 16 and 17.
Author: Mike Bennett
Composer: Guy Cavill
Producer: Bloomsbury Theatre
Improvised murder mystery show Murder, She Didn’t Write, from the makers of Austentatious, is to run at the Leicester Square Theatre in London on February 25, March 25, and April 29.
Producer: Something for the Weekend
Tiddler and other Terrific Tales, adapted from bestselling books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, is to tour the UK. Opening on February 10 at the Churchill Theatre Bromley, it will visit locations including Bristol, Taunton, Salford, Llandudno, Colchester, Crawley, Blackburn, Peterborough and Birmingham, where it runs until September 1.
Author: Benji Bower (music and lyrics)
Director: Sally Cookson
Producer: Freckle Productions
MADHOUSE re:exit, an interactive, immersive show inspired by the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities, will run at Shoreditch Town Hall in London from March 13 to 28. It will then transfer to the Lowry in Salford’s Week 53 festival from May 18 to 28.
Director: Nick Llewellyn
Cast: Cian Binchy, Imogen Roberts, DJ Hassan, Dayo Koleosho, David Munns, Jess Mabel-Jones, Lesley Ewen, Hayley Hill, David Thackeray
Producer: Access All Areas
Ruthie Henshall, Sarah Soetaert and Josefina Gabrielle are to join the cast of Chicago when it returns to the West End next month. They join the previously announced Cuba Gooding Jr in the show, which opens at the Phoenix Theatre on March 26.
Authors: John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (book and lyrics), Bob Fosse (book)
Director: Walter Bobbie
Producers: Barry and Fran Weissler
Michael Ball and Alexandra Burke are to star of Chess in the West End. The revival of the musical will run at the London Coliseum from April 26 for a five-week season.
Authors: Benny Andersson, Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus
Director: Laurence Connor
Cast includes: Murray Head, Tim Howar, Cassidy Janson
Producers: Michael Linnit and Michael Grade in collaboration with English National Opera, by arrangement with Three Knights Limited, the Shubert Organisation Inc and Robert Fox Limited
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Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser are to perform in a concert version of The Light Princess at London’s Cadogan Hall later this year. Craig reprises her leading role in the musical, in which she starred when it premiered at the National Theatre in 2013. It will take place on July 1.
Authors: Tori Amos (music and lyrics), Samuel Adamson (book and lyrics)
Director: Paul Foster
Producers: Club 11 London and Alex Parker Theatre Company
Madalena Alberto is to return to the title role in Evita for a major UK tour of the production. It will open at the Princess Theatre in Torquay on March 13 before visiting locations including Birmingham, Cornwall, Swansea, Chester, Turin, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Aberdeen, and Portsmouth, where it runs until November 17.
Authors: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (book and lyrics)
Director: Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright
Producer: Bill Kenwright
The Orpheus Centre, a Surrey-based performing arts centre for disabled children, is to celebrate its 20th birthday with a musical telling the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Current students at the Orpheus Centre will collaborate with Arts Educational graduates to perform Orpheus – the Mythical, which will run at the Other Palace in London from March 23 to 31.
Author: Richard Stilgoe
Director: Katie Beard
Producer: The Orpheus Centre
A new festival of music, comedy and performance called Kaleidoscope is to be held at the Alexandra Palace in London on July 21. Performance highlights will include Gorilla Circus, Oh My God! It’s The Church, Tin Shed Theatre, The Glory, and Molly Orange. Kaleidoscope and Rift will present a brand new theatrical immersive experience in the building’s rarely opened Victorian basements, with details to be revealed.
Russell Maliphant Company will present a season of dance at Print Room at the Coronet in London from March 6 to 17. maliphantworks2, which features five duets, four of which are performed live in the venue’s theatre space and one which will show as a film installation in the studio.
Outdoor touring company Without Walls has announced 13 new commissions following an open call. These include a national tour to UK festivals of Rosie Kay Dance Company’s Modern Warrior and a family musical called Bicycle Boy from Helen Eastman Productions, which will run at the Brighton Festival. Other commissions that will tour UK festivals from May to September include Belly of the Whale by Ockham’s Razor, The Hum by Flexer and Sandiland, Mirror Mirror by learning disability theatre company Mind The Gap and Routes by Theatre Temoin.