Noble's Chitty Raises Eyebrows & Bank Balance???
Date: 19 February 2002
RSC artistic director Adrian Noble came under fire in yesterday's edition of The Sunday Times for his part in the upcoming world premiere stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, starring Michael Ball. According to the newspaper, Noble will take a three-month paid leave of absence to direct the big-budget musical which opens at the London Palladium in April - which is not going down well with some insiders at the embattled RSC, under fire itself over the past few months for various initiatives spearheaded by Noble, including its departure from the Barbican, the proposed demolition of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in favour of a modern "theatrical village" and consequent redundancies amongst backstage staff. One source is quoted in the newspaper saying that it's "a real worry that Adrian is away at this time of change...this is a very tough time for us". Noble's leave of absence was granted by RSC chairman Lord Alexander. If there is a backlash from his freelance actions, Noble at least can take solace in his bank balance. Although his fee for directing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is only estimated to be about £20,000, he is also believed to have dibs on between 2-4% of the box office and advance sales for the show have already exceeded £8 million.
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