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The Hothouse, Harold Pinter's macabre tragicomedy will return to Londons West End in a new production this May. It will star Simon Russell Beale (Privates on Parade, National Theatre's Timon of Athens and Collaborators) and John Simm (Elling, Sheffield Theatres Hamlet and Betrayal). Further casting will be announced shortly. As part of the Trafalgar Transformed season all tickets will be £15 on Mondays. Half of these will be made available through a special outreach scheme led by the Ambassador Theatre Group Creative Learning Department, targeted towards schools and first-time theatregoers. The other half will be released monthly to the public on the first day of each month for 24 hours, starting on 1 May 2013*, and will be available online or at Trafalgar Studios box office. Additionally, day seats will be available at £10 for all performances, Tuesday through Saturday (* Monday 6 May is excluded). Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, Westminster, SW1A 2DYwww.thehothousewestend.com
This year, one of London's pioneering fringe venues Ovalhouse celebrates its 50th year as a theatre, having begun initially as a youth sports club. Priding themselves as having been at the forefront of championing experimental theatre companies in the 60s, women's theatre and gay theatre in the 70s & 80s, and Black and Asian theatre in the 90s, the Ovalhouse team continue to programme cutting edge theatre that celebrates and embraces the diversity of their South London locale. To this end, they have launched a season entitled Counterculture 50 which promises to be "part retrospectacle, part theatrical incubator of a more politically-engaged performance future."
So far, the season has yielded director Thomas Hescott's brilliant The Act, a devised exploration of gay underground culture in 60s Britain, performed as a one-man tour-de-force by Matthew Baldwin in Ovalhouse's intimate Upstairs space. Opening the season in the larger Downstairs auditorium, Omar El-Khairy'sSour Lips gives an often gripping - but slightly too drawn-out - imagined account of the mysterious story of AminaArraf, the blogger known as 'A Gay Girl in Damascus.' Forthcoming highlights include writer-performer Emma Adams's one-woman show Freakoid, about a woman's illicit relationship with her hoover, and The Forest and the Field, 'a gently seductive, immersive piece of non-fiction storytelling' from leading alternative theatremaker Chris Goode.
With a range of exhibitions and special events running alongside its diverse theatre schedule, the next few months promise to be a busy time for Ovalhouse, which is firmly cementing its reputation as a hotbed for theatre at its freshest and most exciting. For further information, check out www.ovalhouse.com or call 020 7582 7680.
More casting for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June 2013, directed by Sam Mendes. Alongside Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the cast will include Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina. Other cast will include Joe Allen, David Birch, Michelle Bishop, Mireia Mambo Bokele, Matthew Clark, Alex Clatworthy, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherston, Nia Fisher, Kate Graham, Clare Halse, Mark Iles, Daniel Ioannou, Kieran Jae, Jane McMurtrie, Natalie Moore-Williams, Sherrie Pennington, Damien Poole, Paul Saunders, Jack Shalloo and Jay Webb. Further casting to be announced.
Bruce Norris' new play The Low Road at the Royal Court has been extended for an extra two weeks until Saturday 11 May in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. This is the final production Dominic Cooke will direct at the Royal Court before he steps down as Artistic Director in April 2013. Bruce Norris's The Pain and theItch was the first play directed by Dominic in his inaugural season and they also collaborated on the Pulitzer prize winning Clybourne Park. In the current Norris play which opened in September 2010 at the Royal Court a young entrepreneur sets out on a quest for wealth with priceless ambition and a purse of gold. It's a fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism.
Shakespeare's Globe unveiled the official name of their new indoor theatre as The Sam Wanamaker Theatre. named after the organisation's founder, pioneering American actor and director. In the late 1960s a book was taken from a shelf in Worcester College Oxford, and a series of drawings fell from it. These are the earliest set of design drawings for an English theatre in existence.
After 10 years at the helm of the 250-seat Donmar, Michael Grandage has ended all rumors about his next career by launching his own commercial producing company. His inaugral star-driven 15-month slate includes Priates on Parade, Daniel Radcliffe in a revival of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in John Logan' new play Peter and Alice and Jude Law playing the title role in Shakespeare's Henry V. But instead of raising ticket prices to support the star casting, Grandage is pursuing a mission to widen access to theater. That means fewer premium seats per night of the lower price level tickets. Furthermore, for one performance of each production, the entire house will be free to first-time theatergoers. This makes it a risky endeavor and yet the total capitalization for the season -- grant-free -- was raised within six weeks of the company's initial-season announcement.
The company also is planning a 2014 film debut with John Logan's Genius, starring Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender, about the relationship between writer Thomas Wolfe and editor Maxwell Perkins, based on A. Scott Berg's book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.
Stephen Daldry will direct Helen Mirren in the world premiere of Peter Morgan's The Audience. The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre from 15 February 2013, What it's about: For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace - a meeting like no other in British public life -- it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional - sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. In turn, the Queen can't help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases.
The West End Run of Shrek the Musical will close its West End run on February 24th 2013.
Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, originally slated to run at the London Palladium will now open at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in June 2013. Previews start on 18 May 2013. The new stage musical will be directed by Sam Mendes, with a book by David Greig and new songs from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Set and costume design will be by Mark Thompson with choreography by Peter Darling.
James Bierman and Michael Grandage are launching their new company with a season of plays at the Noel Coward Theatre spanning 15 months from December 2012 to February 2014. Over 200 tickets per performance at Â£10, The following new work alongside classical and twentieth century plays will bedirected by Grandage: Privates On Parade by Peter Nichols, music by Denis King. . . Peter and Alice a new play by John Logan. . . The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh. . . A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry V by William Shakespeare. Actors joining the company for new initiative in the West End: Simon Russell Beale, Judi Dench, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe, Sheridan Smith, David Walliams, Ben Whishaw.