Salisbury Debuts Goodall Cities for 30th AnniversaryDate: 28 June 2006
Salisbury Playhouse will present the world premiere of a new musical by The Hired Man’s Howard Goodall this autumn. Two Cities, freely adapted from Charles Dickens’ literary classic A Tale of Two Cities, runs from 6 to 30 September 2006 (preview 5 September), kicking off the theatre’s 30th anniversary season.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Russian revolution, Two Cities is a timeless story of everyday heroics involving a love triangle and a young woman’s search for her imprisoned father. It features a book by Salisbury artistic director Joanna Read, who revived The Hired Man in 2003 and who directs the new piece, which has music and lyrics by Goodall.
The Hired Man, which Goodall co-wrote with Melvyn Bragg in 1984, won the Ivor Novello and TMA Awards for Best Musical and was nominated for four Oliviers. Goodall’s other stage credits have included Girlfriends, Days of Hope, Silas Marner, The Kissing-Dance, The Dreaming and Jason and the Argonauts. His many popular TV themes include those for Blackadder, Mr Bean, Red Dwarf, The Catherine Tate Show and The Vicar of Dibley.
Salisbury’s 30th anniversary productions continues with: Gerald Moon’s comedy thriller involving identical twins Corpse!, directed by Philip Wilson (from 5 to 28 October 2006); Lucy Pitman-Wallace’s new production of Oscar Wilde’s 1893 social comedy A Woman of No Importance (2 to 25 November 2006) and a Christmas stint for Sleeping Beauty, re-imagined by Joanna Read and Stuart Thomas and directed by Jeremy Bond (6 December 2006 to 6 January 2007).
In the new year, Read will revive William Nicholson’s Shadowlands, in which the faith of British theologian CS Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) is tested when he meets and falls in love with American poet Joy Gresham, who is subsequently diagnosed with cancer. Originally written for the BBC in 1986, Nicholson adapted Shadowlands for the stage in 1989, when it was seen in the West End. The 1993 feature film version starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Shadowlands runs at the Playhouse from 18 January to 10 February 2007, ahead of a possible UK tour.
It’s followed by Peter Rowe’s new production of Vincent in Brixton, Nicholas Wright’s award-winning 2002 play about Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh’s time in a London boarding house. Co-produced with the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, it runs from 8 to 31 March 2007. Visiting productions will include Roy Williams’s Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads. The main house programme will be complemented by eclectic new work for young people and adults in the Salberg Studio.
- by Caroline Ansdell & Terri Paddock