Backbeat, the West End stage adaptation of the British film about the early years of The Beatles, is to close early at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
The show, which had been booking to March, will now close on 18 February 2012. It will be followed on 22 February by American movie star Zach Braff (Scrubs) in a ten week run of his off-Broadway comedy All New People.
Based on Iain Softley’s 1994 film, and co-written by Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, Backbeat reveals how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles – when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe embarked on their journey from the docks of Liverpool to search for success in the seedy red light district of Hamburg, Germany.
Performing in the clubs of the Reeperbahn, they played rock ‘n’ roll covers night after night, with classics including Twist And Shout, Long Tall Sally and Mr Postman.
At the heart of show is the triangular relationship between Lennon, his best friend and The Beatles’s original bassist Sutcliffe, and German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, with whom Kirchherr fell in love.
Directed by David Leveaux, the show stars Andrew Knott, Daniel Healy, William Payne, Oliver Bennett, Nick Blood and Ruta Gedmintas.
The show will follow it’s West End run with a production in Toronto in Summer 2012.
Trevor Nunn continues his strong season as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket with a revival of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter.
The play stars Joanna Lumley as Eleanor of Aquitane, Robert Lindsay as Henry II, Sonya Cassidy as Alais, Joseph Drake as John, Rory Fleck-Byrne as Philip and James Norton as Geoffrey.
In The Lion in Winter a family Christmas becomes a family at war as an ageing Henry II, invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitane, and his three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, to spend the festive season with him. They are joined by his mistress Princess Alais, and her brother, the young King Philip of France. Will Henry name who is to be his successor as King of England? Their yuletide celebration turns into a combat zone of deceit, betrayal, bitter power games and scabrous wit.
57th Awards announced: Savoy Hotel, 20 November 2011
Best Night Out – Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre)
Best Actor – (Joint) Benedict Cumberbatch – Frankenstein (National’s Olivier) and Jonny Lee Miller – Frankenstein (National’s Olivier)
The Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress – Sheridan Smith – Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
Best Play – (Joint) The Heretic By Richard Bean (Royal Court) and One Man, Two Guvnors By Richard Bean (National’s Lyttelton)
The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical – Matilda The Musical (RSC Stratford and Cambridge Theatre)
Best Director – Mike Leigh, Grief (National’s Cottesloe)
Best Design – Adam Cork For his sound design of Anna Christie & King Lear (Donmar Warehouse)
The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright – Penelope Skinner For The Village Bike (Royal Court)
The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer – Kyle Soller For his performances in The Glass Menagerie (Young Vic) & Government Inspector (Young Vic) & The Faith Machine (Royal Court)
Editor’s Award – Michael Grandage for making the Donmar Warehouse a star
Beyond Theatre award – Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos For The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler’s Wells)
The Lebedev Special Award – Kristin Scott Thomas For her contribution to theatre
The Moscow Art Theatre’s Golden Seagull – Tom Stoppard for his contribution to Russian theatre and the international stage
The 57th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced last night at a glittering ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Sheridan Smith, who played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and is rumoured to be starring in the new Bridget Jones musical, took home the Best Actress award for her performance in Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She beat actresses including Kristin Scott Thomas and Samantha Spiro for the award, although Scott Thomas did not go home empty handed, winning the Lebedev Special Award for her contribution to theatre.
The Best Actor gong was awarded jointly to the stars of Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre, in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller shared the roles of the scientist and the creature.
In a successful night for the National Theatre, the Best Director award went to movie veteran Mike Leigh, winning his very his first theatre directing award for his play Grief at the National.
The National also saw the Best Play award go to Richard Bean for his National Theatre production of One Man, Two Guvnors, currently playing at the Adelphi Theatre before heading to Broadway, along with recognition of his new play The Heretic at the Royal Court.
Other awards went to out-goiong Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Grandage, who won the editor’s award. This Spring Grandage will open a Broadway revival of his London production of Evita, starring Elena Roger and Ricky Martin.
Dazzling choreography and fabulous Gershwin tunes abound in this high-energy new revival of classic musical CRAZY FOR YOU, transferring from the Open Air Theatre to the Novello in the West End.
Packed full of George and Ira Gershwin’s classic songs including ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’, ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’, CRAZY FOR YOU boasts not only some of the finest songs ever written but some of the most dynamic choreography ever seen on the London stage.
CRAZY FOR YOU reunites director Timothy Sheader and choreographer Stephen Mear, who were responsible for the multi-award winning production of Hello, Dolly!. The entire company of the Regent’s Park production will star in the West End run, led by theatre veterans Harriet Thorpe and David Burt, and introducing to the British stage the highly respected Broadway performer, Sean Palmer as Bobby Child, alongside Clare Foster as Polly Baker, Kim Medcalf as Irene Roth and Michael McKell as Lank.
Following a hugely successful run at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, where the show enjoyed packed audiences and a wave of five star reviews, the show is coming into the West End for a limited run – and westendtheatre.com readers can enjoy £27.50 off tickets.
“Sheer joy” The Daily Mail
“Glorious” The Sunday Telegraph
“Outrageously Feel-good” Metro
Tony award winning choreographer Ann Reinking has been confirmed to star in a major charity gala celebrating the work of legendary songwriters Kander & Ebb, in London this April.
Reinking, who won a Tony Award for her choreography for Kander and Ebb’s Chicago, will join names including Marvin Hamlisch, Janie Dee, Maria Friedman and Billy Stritch at the event.
The current production of Chicago is one of the most successful musical revivals ever. It is now in its 15th year on Broadway and has recently returned to the West End’s Garrick Theatre starring Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera.
The all-star gala is being produced by veteran promoter and producer Barry Mishon in collaboration with Kander, and will be in aid of the Ovarian Cancer Action charity.
John Kander and Fred Ebb are two of the most successful musical theatre songwriting partnerships of all time, with their work including Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, The Rink and Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Fred Ebb passed away in 2004.
Musical directors for the event will be Gareth Valentine and Donald Pippin.
Tickets will go on sale soon.
STAGE SPY CHECK-LIST
- Show: Kander & Ebb Charity Gala
- Theatre: West End venue TBC
- Musical Directors: Gareth Valentine, Donald Pippin
- Stars: Ann Reinking, Maria Friedman, further names to be announced
- Opens: April 2012
Direct from a sell-out season on Broadway, Tony Award and six-time Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly (Cagney and Lacey) stars as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Master Class.
Sharon Gless (Cagney and Lacey) gives a career-defining performance in this funny, personal and hugely engaging comedy about love, loss and personal empowerment. “Outrageously funny” (Daily Mail).
Howard Davies directs Lindsay Duncan and Jeremy Northam in Noel Coward’s classic comedy Hay Fever, aptly playing at the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End.