OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 18 September 2006 (previews from 14 September), Sweeney Todd director-designer John Doyle applies his multi award-winning actor-musician musical approach to Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play Amadeus for a limited season to 14 October 2006 at east London’s atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall (See News, 21 Jul 2006). Set in 18th-century Vienna, Amadeus explores the relationship between the obsessive Austrian Court composer Antonio Salieri and his meteoric young rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Stars in Their Eyes presenter turned Olivier Award winner Matthew Kelly plays Salieri to Jonathan Broadbent’s Mozart.
ALSO TONIGHT (previews from 14 September), Indhu Rubasingham’s production of Fabulation returns to north London’s Tricycle Theatre for a run to 21 October 2006 (See News, 5 May 2006). Jenny Jules reprises her starring role as Undine in Lynn Nottage’s riches-to-rags story, previously seen as part of the Tricycle’s African-American season.
OPENING TUESDAY, 19 September 2006 (previews from 14 September), Gemma Jones and David Ryall star in Simon Block’s world premiere stage adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Everything Is Illuminated at north London’s Hampstead Theatre. A young Jewish New Yorker heads to the Ukraine to find and thank the woman who saved his grandfather during the Second World War. The cast, directed by Rachel O'Riordan, also features Denise Gough. The season continues until 14 October 2006.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, the National Youth Theatre presents new productions of Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing at east London’s Hackney Empire as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations (See News, 29 Mar 2006). Specially abridged by Arnold Wesker, the productions run for five days only until 23 September.
ALSO ON TUESDAY, Up the Gary, Bad Penny Theatre’s new comedy about a Gary Glitter impersonator, played by Andrew Barron, comes to south London’s Theatre 503, formerly the Latchmere, following its success at last month’s Edinburgh Fringe. It runs until 7 October.
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 20 September 2006 (previews from 14 September), Piano/Forte, which author/director Terry Johnson penned specially for actresses Kelly Reilly and Hollywood’s Alicia Witt, receives its world premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 31 Jul 2006). The new play, about an errant Tory MP and his alarmingly difficult offspring, runs until 14 October 2006.
ALSO ON WEDNESDAY (previews from 14 September), Patrick Barlow’s comic stage adaptation of John Buchan’s whodunit The 39 Steps, famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, transfers to the West End’s Criterion Theatre, following its sell-out season at the Tricycle (See News, 23 Aug 2006). The cast of four - Charles Edwards] (playing Hannay), Catherine McCormack, Rupert Degas and Simon Gregor – play 150 roles between them in Maria Aitken’s production.
OPENING THURSDAY, 21 September 2006 (previews from 15 August), following repeated delays, Boney M musical Daddy Cool at last receives its world premiere at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre, where it was originally due to open last May (See News, 7 Jul 2006). In March, producers explained that the initial four-month postponement would allow the team “to spend more time in pre-production in order to achieve the technical and creative possibilities of the show”.
The musical – in which EastEnders’ Michelle Collins, pop star Javine and So Solid Crew’s Harvey lead a 35-strong cast - features the hits of Seventies disco group Boney M, reinterpreted with contemporary influences and set alongside a modern London story loosely based on Romeo and Juliet (See News, 19 Jan 2006). Daddy Cool has a book by Amani Naphtali. It’s directed by Andy Goldberg and designed by Jon Morrell.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 14 September), Thea Sharrock’s Donmar Warehouse production of John Mortimer’s autobiographical 1970 play A Voyage Round My Father, starring Derek Jacobi with Dominic Rowan as his son, transfers to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre, where it’s booking until 16 December.
ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 14 September), Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s 1971 Broadway musical Follies receives a multimedia makeover for a limited season to 14 October at south London’s Landor Theatre. The musical takes place during a reunion of showgirls at the once-lavish Weissman Theatre, now about to be levelled. Sally's attempts to rekindle her romance with old flame Ben, who married her showbiz friend Phyllis, wreak havoc for all three as well as Sally's husband Buddy. The score features several now classic numbers including "Broadway Baby", "I'm Still Here" and "Losing My Mind".
OPENING FRIDAY, 22 September 2006 (previews from 12 September), Tom and Viv, Michael Hastings’ controversial 1984 play about the volatile relationship between poet TS Eliot and his disturbed first wife, gets its first major London revival at the Almeida Theatre (See News, 24 Jul 2006). Lindsay Posner directs Will Keen and Frances O'Connor in the title roles for a run to 4 November 2006.
ALSO ON FRIDAY (previews from 19 September), Willis Hall’s 1959 Second World War drama The Long, The Short and The Tall is revived by Creative First theatre company at north London’s Pleasance Theatre, where it continues until 7 October 2006.
- by Terri Paddock