Opening: Mother, Awake & Sing, People, BacchaeDate: 3 September 2007
Amongst the major openings this week in London are:
OPENING TUESDAY, 4 September 2007 (previews from 25 August), Samuel Adamson’s English-language stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s Oscar-winning 1999 Spanish film All About My Mother receives its world premiere at the Old Vic, where its limited season continues until 24 November (See News, 21 Jun 2007). Lesley Manville and Diana Rigg lead the cast in the story about a mother who travels to Barcelona in search of her late teenage son’s father, encountering along the way three incredible women, including the famous actress her son so admired.
Tom Cairns’ premiere production marks the first major Almodóvar stage adaptation in 20 years and the first time ever that the Spanish filmmaker has consented to his work being produced in English. The cast also features Charlotte Randle, Joanne Froggatt, Colin Morgan and The League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 5 September 2007 (preview 4 September), following its run at the Edinburgh Fringe (See News, 3 Aug 2007), the National Theatre of Scotland brings Venus as a Boy to Soho Theatre, where it runs until 22 September. Tam Dean Burn adapts and co-directs his own adaptation of Luke Sutherland’s novel about a man dying in Soho, where pimps, hormones and a transsexual named Wendy finally break him.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (preview 4 September), Irish playwright Sebastian Barry’s new play The Pride of Parnell Street receives its world premiere at north London’s Tricycle Theatre, running to 22 September (See News, 6 Aug 2007). In interweaving monologues, Janet and Joe tell the story of their lives of petty crime in Dublin, the act of violence that shattered their marriage and their long years of suffering before Joe's final redemptive act. The Fishamble production, directed by Jim Culleton, is performed by Mary Murray and Karl Shiels.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 3 September), Scamp Theatre returns the Bristol Old Vic production of Private Peaceful, the one-man play based on Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel about a World War One soldier awaiting the firing squad, to the West End’s Trafalgar Studio 1, where it plays until 29 September 2007 before continuing on tour (See News, 6 Jun 2007). The piece is adapted and directed by Simon Reade, who this summer resigned as Bristol Old Vic artistic director prior to the theatre’s sudden closure for refurbishment (See News, 11 May 2007).
OPENING THURSDAY, 6 September 2007 (previews from 31 August), The West Wing’s Stockard Channing returns to the London stage to star in the Almeida Theatre revival of Awake and Sing!, Clifford Odets’ 1935 American classic about a three-generation Jewish family living in the Bronx (See News, 22 May 2007). Also in the cast of artistic director Michael Attenborough’s production are Jodie Whittaker, Trevor Cooper, Nigel Lindsay, Paul Jesson and Ben Turner. The run continues until 20 October 2007.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 2 September), We, The People receives its world premiere at Shakespeare’s Globe in a season to 2 October (See News, 6 Feb 2007). The latest play by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, centres on the framing of the American Constitution and draws on surviving speeches, letters and official documents from the country’s founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and George Washington. Charlotte Westenra leads a cast led by Robert Bowman as Madison.
OPENING FRIDAY, 7 September 2007 (previews from 5 September), is the week’s second National Theatre of Scotland production, David Greig’s new version of Euripides ancient Greek classic The Bacchae, which stars Alan Cumming as god of dance and wine Dionysus and was one of the highlights of last month’s Edinburgh International Festival (See News, 18 Apr 2007). The women have tasted pleasure and have left their homes to revel with Dionysus. Disguising himself as a woman, Pentheus infiltrates the revellers and tries to repress their desires at any cost. John Tiffany directs the production which also features Tony Curran (as Pentheus) and Paola Dionisotti. The Lyric season concludes on 22 September 2007.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 5 September), the fringe Finborough Theatre presents the world premiere of Charles Miller and Kevin Hammonds’ new musical When Midnight Strikes, in which 12 Manhattan socialites gather for a dinner party on Millennium Eve. It continues until 29 September.
- by Terri Paddock