Opening: National Night Season & Sadlerís SinginíDate: 2 August 2004
As theatreland tilts north towards Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival and the summer holidays hit full force, major openings are growing thinner on the ground in London throughout August. Amongst those this week are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 3 August 2004 (previews from 23 July), actress-cum-playwright Rebecca Lenkiewiczí second play, The Night Season receives its world premiere at the Nationalís Cottesloe Theatre, where it continues in repertory until 17 November (See News, 5 May 2004). Itís directed by Lucy Bailey (Baby Doll) and designed by Dick Bird, with a cast that includes Lloyd Hutchinson and Justine Mitchell.
Late at night, shoeless, in the rain, an actor playing Yeats in a film shows up at his Sligo digs. In the morning, three feisty sisters, whoíve been dreaming upstairs, come down, burning to meet him. The youngest daughter shows him to his bedroom.
Lenkiewiczís first play, Soho Ė A Tale of Table Dancers, won a Fringe First at Edinburgh in 2000 and later opened at Londonís Arcola Theatre. As an actress, she recently appeared on stage at the National in Mourning Becomes Electra and has also worked at the RSC and Shakespeareís Globe.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, 3 August 2004 (previews from 29 July), former Royal Ballet principal and all-male Swan Lake star Adam Cooper returns to the musical stage in Paul Kerrysonís new production of Singin' in the Rain, which continues at Londonís Sadlerís Wells until 4 September before transferring to Leicester to reopen the Haymarket Theatre, from 9 September (See News, 30 Mar 2004)
The stage musical is based on the famous 1952 MGM film, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse. Set in 1920s Los Angeles, Singin' in the Rain tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the first movie musical, in which silent screen star Lina Lamont struggles to overcome the restrictions of her horrible voice.
Cooper, who also choreographs, plays Lamontís co-star Don Lockwood (immortalised by Kelly on screen), who meets and falls in love with the girl-next-door with the beautiful voice. Heís joined in the cast by Josefina Gabrielle, Ronni Anconna and Simon Coulthard.
- by Terri Paddock