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Production news round-up: Paapa Essiedu to star in Harold Pinter season and National Theatre’s Nine Night announces West End transfer

NINE NIGHT by Natasha Gordon. Photo: Helen Murray
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This week’s production news includes casting for a season of Harold Pinter’s one-act plays in the West End, as well as the West End transfer of Nine Night. Other news includes a new film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, and casting for the West End transfer of Follies.


Paapa Essiedu, Maggie Steed and Keith Allen are to star in a West End season celebrating Harold Pinter‘s one-act plays. The plays will be performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre from September 6 to February 23 to mark the 10th anniversary of the playwright’s death.
Directors include: Lia Williams, Jamie Lloyd, Patrick Marber
Cast also includes: Rupert Graves, Gary Kemp, Phil Davis and John Simm
Producer: Jamie Lloyd Company

Paapa Essiedu, Maggie Steed and Keith Allen to star in Harold Pinter West End season

Elizabeth Berrington and Phil Daniels are to join Jim Broadbent in Martin McDonagh‘s new play A Very Very Very Dark Matter, at the Bridge Theatre in London. Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles also features, making her professional debut. The play runs from October 12 to January 6, with press night on October 24.
Director: Matthew Dunster
Producer: London Theatre Company
Read original story here

Natasha Gordon‘s debut play, Nine Night, has announced a transfer to the West End following a run earlier this year at the National Theatre. Nine Night will run from December 1 to February 9, with a press night on December 6.
Director: Roy Alexander Weise
Producers: National Theatre and Trafalgar Theatre Productions
Read original story here

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its winter season for 2018/19 at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London. The season will see will see Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, direct Macbeth, which previews on November 7 with press night on November 14. It is paired with Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, which will be directed by Paulette Randall and will run alongside Macbeth from December. Elsewhere, the season includes a production of Ralegh: The Treason Trial, Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare’s Richard II.

Ruth Jones will star in the UK tour of a new comedy The Nightingales, which opens at the Theatre Royal Bath on October 31. The show will then continue on a UK tour to Cambridge, Cardiff, Chichester and Malvern prior to a West End transfer, with venue, dates and further casting to be announced.
Author: William Gaminara
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Producer: Jenny Topper and Theatre Royal Bath Productions

Ruth Jones to star in new comedy The Nightingales

Shrapnel Theatre’s Silk Road (How to Buy Drugs Online), the first production to be funded through the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has announced its return. The production will run at Trafalgar Studios in London from August 7 to September 1, with press night on August 7.
Author: Alex Oates
Director: Dominic Shaw
Producer: Paul Virides for Shrapnel Theatre

Gecko’s Missing is to return to Battersea Arts Centre for a run that was interrupted by a fire in 2016. The show will run at the London venue from September 6 to 15.
Creator: Amit Lahav
Cast includes: Chris Evans, Anna Finkel, Amit Lahav, Katie Lusby and Ryen Perkins‐Gangnes
Producer: Rosalind Wynn

The Almeida Young Company in London will be presenting two works from July 26 to 28. Cacophony, the story of a young woman’s rise to fame after speaking up at a protest and Loki and Cassie: A Love Story, a look at masculinity, teenage relationships and modern society.
Director: Michael Bryher
Design: Khadija Raza, George Lumkin (sound), Katie Nicoll (lighting), Robin Fisher (video)
Producer: Almeida Participation

Frantic Assembly has announced its tour dates of The Unreturning, which tells the interwoven stories of three men coming home from war. The Unreturning opens at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on September 20, and visits locations including Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leicester, and Swansea, where it runs until February 23, 2019.
Author: Anna Jordan
Director: Neil Bettles
Producers: Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth

Jared Garfield will feature in The Unreturning

Antic Disposition has announced its summer UK cathedral tour of Much Ado About Nothing starring Nicholas Osmond and Chiraz Aich. The tour runs from July 9 to September 1.
Directors: Ben Horslen and John Risebero
Design: Lizzy Gunby
Composer and musical director: Nick Barstow
Choreographer: Lucie Pankhurst
Cast includes: Floriane Andersen, Alexander Varey, Tommy Burgess Theo Landey, Molly Miles, Alfie Webster, Louis Bernard, Chris Hespel, Scott Brooks
Producer: Antic Disposition

The world premiere of The Sweet Science of Bruising has been announced to run at Southwark Playhouse in London. Based on 19th-century women’s boxing, the show previews October 3 and runs from October 5 to 27.
Author: Joy Wilkinson
Director: Kirsty Patrick Ward
Design: Anna Reid (set and costume), Max Perryment (sound)
Producer: Troupe

London Classic Theatre has announced a 14-venue UK tour of My Mother Said I Never Should. The play details the lives of four women through the immense social changes of the 20th century. Touring from September 11 to November 24, it will visit locations including Durham, Bury St Edmunds, Taunton and York.
Author: Charlotte Keatley
Director: Michael Cabot
Design: Bek Palmer (set and costume), Andy Grange (lighting)
Cast: Felicity Houlbrooke, Fiz Marcus, Kathryn Ritchie, Connie Walker

A New And Better You at London’s Yard Theatre, which is a play about a “YouTube demigod”, opens on June 26 and runs until July 14, with press night on June 29.
Author: Joe Harbot
Director: Cheryl Gallacher
Design: Beth Wells (set and costume), Josh Grigg (sound), Jess Bernberg (lighting)
Cast includes: Hannah Traylen, Alex Austin and Saffron Coomber


Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding have been cast in Follies at the National Theatre, when the production returns for a second run next year. The National has also announced that Anthony Neilson will make his NT debut with a new work, The Tell-Tale Heart, based on Edgar Allen Poe‘s short story of the same name. Other new work announced includes a new play by Consent writer Nina Raine, called Stories and starring Claudie Blakley.

Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding join NT Follies cast

Casting has been announced for the UK tour of musical Rock of Ages. It opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on September 20, and will then tour until July 2019.
Author: Chris D’Arienzo (book)
Director and choreographer: Nick Winston
Cast includes: Kevin Kennedy, Zoe Birkett, Jodie Steele, Luke Walsh, Lucas Rush, Andrew Carthy, Vas Constanti and Rhiannon Chesterman
Producers: Dan Looney, Adam Paulden, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Selladoor Worldwide and Gavin Kalin


Casting has been announced for The Greatest Wealth at the Old Vic in London. The series of monologues celebrating the NHS, curated by Lolita Chakrabarti, will be performed from June 25 to 29.
Authors: Moira Buffini, Lolita Chakrabarti, Seiriol Davies, Matilda Ibini, Courttia Newland, Meera Syal, Jack Thorne and Paul Unwin
Director: Adrian Lester
Cast includes: Jade Anouka, Louise English, Dervla Kirwan, Ruth Madeley, Art Malik, Meera Syal, Sophie Stone and David Threlfall

Wayne McGregor is choreographing a new film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, which will start shooting in the UK in November.
Director: Tom Hooper
Producers: Working Title Films and Universal Studios

Wayne McGregor to choreograph big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats

Theatre critic Michael Billington will curate a season of screenings and discussions at BFI Southbank dedicated to Harold Pinter‘s work, to mark the 10th anniversary of the playwright’s death. Among those contributing to the two-month season, called Pinter on Screen: Power, Sex and Politics, are Lia Williams, Gina McKee and Jamie Lloyd. As part of the programme, a series of Pinter’s rare television plays will be screened, including The Dumb Waiter, Langrishe Go Down – starring Judi Dench and Jeremy Irons – two versions of The Caretaker and two versions of The Birthday Party. Pinter on Screen runs from July 1 to August 31.
Read original story here

Olivier award-winner Clive Rowe is set to return to the East End this Christmas as he makes his Hackney Empire comeback in Aladdin at the London venue. Aladdin will run from November 24 to January 6, with press night on 5 December.
Director: Susie McKenna
Producer: Hackney Empire

Clive Rowe to star in Hackney Empire’s 2018 pantomime

Choreographer Alexander Whitley has three contemporary dance works, Noumena, Ulysses Awakes, and Between Two Fires, being performed at Messums Wiltshire on July 27 to 28. Performers include Tia Hockey, David Ledger, Leon Poulton, Caitlyn Taylor and Jack Thomson.


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