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Benedict Cumberbatch to take After The Dance to Broadway?

March 25, 2011 

Thea Sharrock’s award-winning production of Terence Rattigan’s drama After The Dance at the National Theatre may be Broadway-bound.
And its star – Benedict Cumberbatch, who is currently wowing audiences at the National Theatre in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, may be heading with it.

The success of Sherlock in the US, which the New York Times dubbed as “highly entertaining” and having “a brio that sets it apart” when it premiered on PBS last year, means that his profile has been raised Stateside, which would be good timing for his Broadway debut. Plus his starring roles in forthcoming Spielberg movie War Horse and in a new version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy will aid the move.

It is unclear whether fellow After The Dance performers Nancy Carroll and Adrian Scarborough would join him. Both won Olivier Awards for their performances in the play, although Carroll is heavily pregnant and Adrian Scarborough is in previews for Cameron Mackintosh’s new show Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre – and is rumoured to be putting in an award-worthy performance as Inspector Wormold.


  • Show: After The Dance
  • Director: Thea Sharrock
  • Broadway Theatre: TBC
  • Producer: Stuart Thompson
  • Casting: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • London Dates: TBC
Source: Daily Mail (25/03/11)
Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Tennessee Williams: The silent centenary

March 21, 2011 

We don’t like to moan (much) but where are all the London productions celebrating the late, great Tennessee Williams?

Shelley Lang and Lewis Hayes in the current Cock Tavern Williams season

Shelley Lang and Lewis Hayes in the current Cock Tavern Williams season

His centenary falls this week, 26 March, but you would hardly know given the absence of any major London productions of his work. So hats off to the tiny Cock Tavern Theatre for running its current centenary season, including lost play I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark On Sunday.

Whilst home-grown talent such as Terence Rattigan deserve the incredible attention that his centenary is garnering this year (last year’s After the Dance, this year’s Cause Celebre and Flare Path to name but three), we would have liked to see something major in London to mark the occasion of Tennessee’s birth.

Williams may be constantly revived in the UK, the Donmar’s 2009 production of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Rachel Weisz being a good recent example, but his extraordinary influence on world theatre, and especially British theatre, deserves some recognition around his actual centenary.


Cock Tavern Theatre

Wikipedia: Tennessee Williams

Olivier Awards: National, Legally Blonde

March 14, 2011 

In a star-studded awards ceremony last night, Sunday 13 March, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, the Society of London Theatre held their 35th annual theatre awards ceremony.

Best actress in a musical winner Sheridan Smith

Best actress in a musical winner Sheridan Smith

Hosted by musicals star Michael Ball and actress Imelda Staunton, the awards celebrate the best of the year’s London theatre.

Big winners last night included the National Theatre, which swept up seven awards for two of its productions: Thea Sharrock’s revival of Terence Rattigan’s After the Dance, which won awards including best revival, best actress for Nancy Carroll and best actor in a supporting role for Adrian Scarborough; and its production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard, including best director for Howard Davies and best set design for Bunny Christie.

In other subsidised venues the Royal Court picked up three awards, including best new play for Bruce Norris’s comedy Clybourne Park, which is now playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End, and two awards for the Donmar Warehouse, including David Thaxton picking up best actor in a musical for Passion.

Roger Allam won best actor for his performance as Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, beating stiff competition from Rory Kinnear, Derek Jacobi, David Suchet and Mark Rylance.

The Olivier Awards were held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The Olivier Awards were held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The most successful musical of the night was Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre, which picked up three major awards: best new musical, best actress in a musical for Sheridan Smith and best performance in a supporting role in a Musical for Jill Halfpenny.

Other musicals rewarded at the event included We Will Rock You, which won the Olivier Audience Award voted for by members of the theatregoing public, and the Open Air Theatre’s summer production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.

Stephen Sondheim was presented with an Olivier Special Award for his enormous contribution to theatre, with the award presented by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and legendary actress Angela Lansbury.

Big shows to miss out on awards this year included Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, which failed to pick up any awards despite seven nominations, and End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios, which was nominated for four awards including best actress for Tracie Bennett in her performance as Judy Garland.

Thea Sharrock picks up the Best Revival award for her production of After the Dance at the National Theatre

Thea Sharrock picks up the Best Revival award for her production of After the Dance at the National Theatre

Notable performances during the ceremony included a star turn by legendary American singer Barry Manilow, who also sang a duet with Wicked and Oliver! star Kerry Ellis; current and former stars of The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies – Ramin Karimloo, John Owen-Jones and Sierra Boggess; Emma Williams and Michael Xavier singing Everything We Know from Love Story; Alfie Boe, who is soon to star in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, singing Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific; Susan McFadden and the current cast of Legally Blonde; and Adrian Lester paying tribute to Stephen Sondheim by singing Being Alive from Company, along with Angela Lansbury singing a moving rendition of Liaisons from A Little Night Music and 400 students from national drama schools singing Our Time from Merrily We Roll Along.


BBC iPlayer – Radio 2 coverage

BBC iPlayer – BBC News


Olivier Awards – list of winners

Olivier Awards microsite

Olivier Awards – news

Olivier Awards – Binkie Blog’s Picks and Pans

Clybourne Park scoops awards

January 25, 2011 

Bruce Norris’s new play Clybourne Park, produced by the Royal Court last year and transferring to the Wyndham’s Theatre from 28 January, has scooped two major best new play awards.

Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park

Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park

In ceremonies held today in central London, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards both presented Clybourne Park with Best New Play gongs.

The Royal Court also picked up two more awards from the Critics’ Circle, both mirroring their wins at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last year: the Most Promising Playwright Award for Anya Reiss’s Spur of the Moment and Daniel Kaluuya for most promising newcomer for Sucker Punch.

The National, RSC and Donmar Warehouse also did well from the Critics’ Circle awards with Michael Grandage and Thea Sharrock  jointly awarded best director for King Lear at the Donmar and After the Dance at the National respectively.

Other winners included theatre veterans David Suchet receiving a best actor award for All My Sons at the Apollo and Derek Jacobi a best Shakespearean performance award for King Lear at the Donmar. Best musical went to the RSC’s Matilda The Musical based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book and best actress was awarded to Jenny Jules for her performance in Ruined at the Almeida.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards led by Melvyn Bragg, the first to be presented by the Sky Arts channel following ITV’s axing of Bragg’s South Bank Show last year, saw Dame Judi Dench awarded the Outstanding Achievement award. Alongside Clybourne Park’s win, best opera production was awarded to Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg from Welsh National Opera and best dance was Akram Khan’s Gnosis at Sadler’s Wells.


Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2010 – full list of winners

South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2011 – full list of winners


Book tickets to Clybourne Park at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London

Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards – Winners 2010

January 25, 2011 

Awards announced: 25 January 2011, Prince of Wales Theatre London

Best New Play:
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
Presented by Kate Bassett

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival):
Matilda, A Musical
Presented by Matt Wolf

Best Actor:
David Suchet in All My Sons
Presented by Charles Spencer

Best Actress:
Jenny Jules in Ruined
Presented by Jane Edwardes

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance:
Derek Jacobi in King Lear
Presented by Michael Billington

Best Director:
Awarded jointly to: Michael Grandage for King Lear
Presented by Georgina Brown
Thea Sharrock for After the Dance
Presented by Claire Allfree

Best Designer: Bunny Christie for The White Guard
Presented by Paul Taylor

Most Promising Playwright:
Anya Reiss for Spur of the Moment
Presented by Ian Shuttleworth

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright):
Daniel Kaluuya for Sucker Punch
Presented by Henry Hitchings

Evening Standard Awards – winners

November 29, 2010 

Royal Court and National Theatre sweep up at annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards; Royal Court wins best play; National’s Nancy Carroll and Rory Kinnear win best actress and actor

Nancy Carroll in After the Dance

Nancy Carroll in After the Dance

At a glittering ceremony yesterday, 28 November, at the newly reopened Savoy Hotel in London, the annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced.

Hosted by Stephen Fry, the 56th awards saw a host of stars from stage and screen come together to celebrate the best of the year’s theatre scene.

This year saw a notable number of rising young stars acknowledged in the awards, including teenage playwright Anya Reiss, who was presented with the Charles Wintour award for most promising playwright by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch for her play Spur of the Moment at the Royal Court.

Also another young Royal Court winner was rewarded, with Skins actor Daniel Kaluuya winning the “Editor’s award for a shooting star” for Sucker Punch. The venue also picked up best play for Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, which is to transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre next year, and best design for Miriam Buether for Sucker Punch at the Royal Court and Earthquakes in London at the National Theatre.

Daniel Kaluuya in Sucker Punch

Daniel Kaluuya in Sucker Punch

The National were also major beneficiaries of this year’s awards, with Nancy Carroll beating Passion’s Elena Roger, Legally Blonde’s Sheridan Smith and Clybourne Park’s Sophie Thompson to win the best actress award for After the Dance at the National. Also at the venue, Rory Kinnear won best actor for his title role in Hamlet, along with Measure for Measure at the Almeida, and Howard Davies won best director for The White Guard and his production of All My Sons at the Apollo.

Best musical went to Passion, the Donmar Warehouse’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s show starring Elena Roger, and the Milton Shulman award for Outstanding newcomer was given to You Me Bum Bum Train created by Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd at the LEB Building, E2.

Two special awards for achievement in theatre were also given: Sir Michael Gambon received a special award  for his contribution to theatre, and Sir Peter Hall, who enjoyed this 80th birthday this month, was awarded the Moscow Art Theatre’s Golden Seagull award.

The National Theatre’s production of Hamlet, starring Evening Standard best actor award winner Rory Kinnear, will be filmed as part of the National’s NT Live season and screened in cinemas across the UK and around the world on 9 December 2010. See more information here.

Watch a video of the Evening Standard Theatre Awards

See the full list of Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2010 winners here

Evening Standard Theatre Awards – Winners 2010

November 29, 2010 

Awards announced: Sunday 28 November 2010, Savoy Hotel London

Rory Kinnear- Measure for Measure (Almeida)/Hamlet (National’s Olivier)

Nancy Carroll – After the Dance (National’s Lyttelton)

Bruce Norris – Clybourne Park (Royal Court)

Passion – Donmar Warehouse

Howard Davies – The White Guard (National’s Lyttelton)/All My Sons (Apollo)

Miriam Buether – Sucker Punch (Royal Court)/Earthquakes in London (National’s Cottesloe)

Anya Reiss – Spur of the Moment (Royal Court)

You Me Bum Bum Train created by Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd (LEB Building, E2)

Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Sucker Punch (Royal Court)

Sir Michael Gambon for his contribution to theatre

Sir Peter Hall

Evening Standard Awards – shortlist

November 22, 2010 

Sheridan Smith and Elena Roger head-to-head for Evening Standard Theatre Awards

The Evening Standard has published their Theatre Awards shortlist ahead of a glitzy ceremony at the newly reopened Savoy Hotel this Sunday, 28 November.

Sophie Thompson up for Best Actress for Clybourne Park

Sophie Thompson up for Best Actress for Clybourne Park

Hosted by Stephen Fry, the 56th annual awards will see stars of stage and screen join an impressive list of nominees for this year’s event.

In the Best Actress category, in honour of Natasha Richardson, two musicals stars are pitted against each other: Sheridan Smith, in Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre, and Elena Roger, star of Passion at the Donmar Warehouse and soon to be Ricky Martin co-star on Broadway in Evita. They are shortlisted against Nancy Carroll for the National’s After the Dance and Sophie Thompson for the Royal Court’s Clybourne Park – a part which she will revive in the New Year for the West End transfer of the show at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

The National Theatre and the Royal Court are the producing houses to benefit most from this year’s shortlist, with 10 and 11 nods respectively. The National Theatre is celebrated for a range of productions, with Thea Sharrock (After the Dance), Nicholas Hytner (The Habit Of Art, London Assurance, Hamlet), Howard Davies for The White Guard (plus All My Sons at the Apollo) and Laurie Sansom for Beyond The Horizon and Spring Storm all vying for the Best Director award.

The Royal Court’s reputation for writing has won out again over its competitors this year, earning the venue complete dominance over both Best Play category, with nominations for Cock, Clybourne Park and Sucker Punch, and Most Promising Playwright category, with DC Moore for The Empire, Nick Payne for Wanderlust (plus If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet at the Bush) and Anya Reiss for Spur Of The Moment.

Performances of Shakespeare is the theme of this year’s Best Actor category, with Roger Allam singled out for his performance in Henry IV Parts One and Two at Shakespeare’s Globe and Rory Kinnear for two Shakespeare roles, the National Theatre’s Hamlet and the Almeida’s Measure For Measure. David Suchet also gets nod for All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre.

Best Musicals, in honour of Ned Sherrin, cover all tastes, with Legally Blonde at the Savoy, Stephen Sondheim’s Passion at the Donmar Warehouse and – despite Trevor Nunn and John Caird’s sniping over Cameron Mackintosh’s new touring production – the 2010 reinvention of Les Miserables at the Barbican Theatre.

Finally Outstanding Newcomers include a well-deserved nod to Spice Girl Mel C for Blood Brothers.

See the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2010 shortlist here

New Old Vic season launched

July 14, 2010 

Kevin Spacey pulls out the stops for his 7th year at the Old Vic with three heavy-weight directors

Hollywood actor and Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey has announced a new season of plays at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Now in his seventh year at the theatre, Spacey revealed that he has attracted three of Britain’s leading directors to helm three revivals during 2010 and 2011.

Anthony Page, whose credits include last year’s Waiting for Godot on Broadway, will direct Noël Coward’s Design For Living, playing at the theatre from 3 September to 27 November 2010. The play will star Tom Burke (Telstar), Andrew Scott (Lennon Naked) and Lisa Dillon (Cranford). Written in 1932, the comedy concerns the complicated three-way relationship between two men and a woman.

Richard Eyre, who recently directed Kim Cattrall in Private Lives at the Vaudeville Theatre, will direct Georges Feydeau’s 1907 French farce A Flea In Her Ear, in a version by John Mortimer, from 4 December 2010 to 5 March 2011. The production will star Tom Hollander (In The Loop) and Lisa Dillon.

Finally, Thea Sharrock, who has enjoyed enormous success for her current National Theatre staging of Terence Rattigan’s After The Dance, will return to the playwright in his centenary year with a revival of his final play, Cause Célèbre, from 17 March to 11 June 2011.

Sharrock will also direct Alison Steadman in a new production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, coming to the Apollo Theatre from March 2011.

Spacey commented on the new season: “These are three great plays that all rather brilliantly explore the attitudes of their time and offer wonderful roles to actors.”

Current shows at the Old Vic and the Old Vic in the West End:

Book tickets to Design For Living at the Old Vic Theatre

Book tickets to A Flea In Her Ear at the Old Vic Theatre

Book tickets to Cause Célèbre at the Old Vic Theatre

Book tickets to The Tempest at the Old Vic Theatre

Book tickets to As You Like It at the Old Vic Theatre

Book tickets to see The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Vaudeville Theatre

OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Actress Winners

June 19, 2010 


Best Actress

2012 Ruth Wilson for Anna Christie
2011 Nancy Carroll for After the Dance
2010 Rachel Weisz for A Streetcar Named Desire
2009 Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden
2008 Kristin Scott Thomas for Chekhov’s The Seagull
2007 Tamsin Greig for Much Ado About Nothing
2006 Eve Best for Hedda Gabler
2005 Clare Higgins for Hecuba
2004 Eileen Atkins for Honour
2003 Clare Higgins for Vincent In Brixton
2002 Lindsay Duncan for Private Lives
2001 Julie Walters for All My Sons
2000 Janie Dee for Comic Potential
1999 Eileen Atkins for The Unexpected Man
1998 Zoë Wanamaker for Electra
1997 Janet McTeer for A Doll’s House
1996 Judi Dench for Absolute Hell
1995 Clare Higgins for Sweet Bird Of Youth
1994 Fiona Shaw for Machinal
1993 Alison Steadman for The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice
1992 Juliet Stevenson for Death And The Maiden
1991 Kathryn Hunter for The Visit
1989/90 Fiona Shaw for Electra, As You Like It and The Good Person Of Sichuan
1987 Judi Dench for Antony and Cleopatra
1986 Lindsay Duncan for Les Liaisons Dangereuses
1985 Yvonne Bryceland for The Road To Mecca

Actress of the Year in a New Play

1988 Pauline Collins for Shirley Valentine
1984 Thuli Dumakude for Poppie Nongena
1983 Judi Dench for Pack Of Lies
1982 Rosemary Leach for 84 Charing Cross Road
1981 Elizabeth Quinn for Children Of A Lesser God
1980 Frances de la Tour for Duet For One
1979 Jane Lapotaire for Piaf
1978 Joan Plowright for Filumena
1977 Alison Fiske for Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi
1976 Peggy Ashcroft for Old World

Actress of the Year in a Revival

1988 Harriet Walter for Twelfth Night and The Three Sisters
1984 Vanessa Redgrave for The Aspern Papers
1983 Frances de la Tour for A Moon For The Misbegotten
1982 Cheryl Campbell for A Doll’s House
1981 Margaret Tyzack for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
1980 Judi Dench for Juno And The Paycock
1979 Zoë Wanamaker for Once In A Lifetime
1978 Dorothy Tutin for The Double Dealer
1977 Judi Dench for Macbeth
1976 Dorothy Tutin for A Month In The Country

Best Actress in a Musical

2012 The Matildas for Matilda The Musical (Sophia Kiely, Kerry Ingram, Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox)
2011 Sheridan Smith for Legally Blonde – The Musical
2010 Samantha Spiro for Hello Dolly!
2009 Elena Roger for Piaf
2008 Leanne Jones for Hairspray
2007 Jenna Russell for Sunday In The Park With George
2006 Jane Krakowski for Guys And Dolls
2005 Laura Michelle Kelly for Mary Poppins
2004 Maria Friedman for Ragtime at the Piccadilly
2003 Joanna Riding for My Fair Lady
2002 Martine McCutcheon for My Fair Lady
2001 Samantha Spiro for Merrily We Roll Along
2000 Barbara Dickson for Spend Spend Spend
1999 Sophie Thompson for Into The Woods
1998 Ute Lemper for Chicago
1997 Maria Friedman for Passion
1996 Judi Dench for A Little Night Music
1995 Ruthie Henshall for She Loves Me
1994 Julia McKenzie for Sweeney Todd
1993 Joanna Riding for Carousel
1992 Wilhelmenia Fernandez for Carmen Jones
1991 Imelda Staunton for Into The Woods
1989/90 Lea Salonga for Miss Saigon
1988 Patricia Routledge for Candide
1987 Nichola McAuliffe for Kiss Me Kate
1986 Lesley Mackie for Judy
1985 Patti LuPone for Les Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock
1984 Natalia Makarova for On Your Toes
1983 Barbara Dickson for Blood Brothers
1982 Julia McKenzie for Guys And Dolls
1981 Carlin Glynn for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
1980 Gemma Craven for They’re Playing Our Song
1979 Virginia McKenna for The King And I

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