Midsummer Night's Greig Soho Theatre seems to have become the unofficial receiving house for Edinburgh’s Traverse. Following on from the successful transfers of Orphans and A Life in Three Acts, Soho’s 2010 season will open with another Traverse hit in Midsummer (12 Jan – 6 Feb), a romantic comedy co-written by the award-winning David Greig and Gordon McIntyre of Edinburgh band ballboy. Matthew Pidgeon and Cora Bissett play Bob and Helena, an unlikely pairing caught up in a lost weekend of bridge-burning, car chases, wedding bust-ups and bondage, complete with original songs performed live.
Full Cast Announced for Rose Dream From Midsummer to A Midsummer’s Night Dream, the Rose Theatre Kingston has announced the full cast for their spring production of Shakespeare’s comedy, which runs from 9 February to 20 March. Starring alongside Dame Judi Dench will be Charles Edward as Oberon, television faces Oliver Chris (Green Wing) as Bottom and Ben Mansfield (Primeval) as Lysander, and Rachael Stirling (Diana Rigg’s daughter) as Helena. Director Peter Hall celebrates his 80th birthday next year.
Donmar’s Elliot Cowan To Direct Fresh from his stint in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar, actor Elliot Cowan makes his directorial debut this December with David Mamet’s Edmond at Wilton’s Music Hall (14-16 December). Investigating what makes a man a man, this new production of Mamet’s urban min-epic will feature Tobias Menzies (Rome) in the lead role of American Everyman, alongside a top-rate cast including Kate Sissons and Colm Gormley. Local bluesgrass trio, The Bonfire Band, provide the music.
Play Pacman at Old Red Lion Award-winning poet and journalist Ross Sutherland will be bringing his darkly comic one man show to the Old Red Lion in early 2010. Set amid the backdrop of mid-recession Britain and a decaying newspaper industry, The Three Stigmata Of Pacman, (12-30 January) combines poetry, stories and animation in Sutherland's trademark way to investigate the media’s self-fulfilling prophecy. As Sutherland sees it, journalists are reporting science fiction while poets bury themselves in the garden.
Cock Theatre Chooses A Ward Fringe stalwart Nick Ward has been named playwright in residence at Kilburn’s Cock Tavern Theatre. A past winner of the George Devine Award for Apart From George (revived in June 2009 at the Finborough), Ward worked extensively at the National Theatre Studio in the eighties alongside Peter Gill. August saw the revival of his play The Present at the Cock and future projects include a retrospective at Riverside Studios and the world premiere of his first musical.
And finally... Theatre 503 is hosting a performed reading of Flycatcher, written and directed by Gregg Masuak in his UK theatre debut this week. A former music video producer, Masuak worked with Take That, Spice Girls, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Kylie Minogue and Brand New Heavies in his old life. Away from the fame game, his new play follows ill-fated waitress Madelaine in her attempts to draw happy-go-lucky salesman Bing into her world. See it first on either 3 or 4 December.
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