September 23, 2013
A round-up of reviews for Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic.
The reviews are in and the critics have been less than impressed by a new production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic directed by Mark Rylance.
The reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick are played by theatre legends Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in a production that comes under quite a battering for its central premise, design and casting issues.
See review highlights below from the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail and more.
July 26, 2013
Directed by Mark Rylance
Starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave
Previews from 7 September 2013
Press night: 19 September 2013
Mark Rylance directs James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave in Shakespeare’s timeless comedy Much Ado About Nothing opening on 19 September 2013 with previews from 7 September. Further cast includes Tim Barlow, Penelope Beaumont, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Katherine Carlton, Beth Cooke, Alan David, Michael Elwyn, Lloyd Everitt, James Garnon, Melody Grove, Trevor Laird, Leroy Osei-Bonsu, Mark Ross, Peter Wight and Danny Lee Wynter.
While young lovers Claudio and Hero threaten to have their imminent nuptials thwarted by the resentful scheming of a Prince, marriage seems inconceivable for reluctant lovers Beatrice (Vanessa Redgrave) and Benedick (James Earl Jones). Redgrave and Earl Jones take on these roles for the first time.
James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave recently starred in Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy both in the West End and on Broadway.
James Earl Jones plays Benedick. His voice is known by people of all ages and walks of life from the Star Wars fans who know him as the voice of ‘Darth Vader’ to children who know him as ‘Mufasa’ from Disney’s The Lion King. Jones made his Broadway debut in 1957 and had his first breakthrough role in 1960 when Joseph Papp cast him in Shakespeare’s Henry V, marking the beginning of Jones’s long affiliation with the New York Shakespeare Festival, eventually counting the title roles of Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear among his many distinguished performances for the company. Jones has won Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and Fences; a Tony nomination for On Golden Pond; Drama Desk Awards for Othello, Les Blancs, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard and Fences; Obie Awards for Clandestine on the Morning Line, The Apple, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and Baal; a Theatre World Award for Moon on a Rainbow Shawl; and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for
Fences. Additional theatre credits include Paul Robeson, The Iceman Cometh, Of Mice and Men and the Broadway and London productions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor), the Broadway and London productions of Driving Miss Daisy, the Broadway production of The Best Man and has just finished a six month tour of Australia, again with Driving Miss Daisy. Films include: The Great White Hope (Academy Award nomination), Dr. Strangelove, Claudine, The Comedians, The River Niger, The Greatest, A Piece of the Action, Gardens of Stone, Coming to America, The Sandlot, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Matewan, Cry the Beloved Country and Field of Dreams. His wide ranging TV career includes two primetime Emmy Awards (for Gabriel’s Fire and Heat Wave) and six other nominations. Other highlights include: Roots: The Next Generation and a great number of guest roles in series ranging from The Defenders and Dr. Kildare to more recently, Two and a Half Men and House. Jones was awarded the National Medal of Arts, is a Kennedy Center honoree and an Honorary Oscar recipient. His memoir, last published by Limelight Editions in 2002, is called Voices and Silences.
Vanessa Redgrave plays Beatrice. Vanessa was most recently seen in the comedic-drama Song for Marion, written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams for which she has been nominated for a 2012 BIFA award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2011 she starred in Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut Coriolanus, for which she received the BIFA Best Supporting Actress Award. She recently completed filming Foxcatcher directed by Bennett Miller; The Butler directed by Lee Daniels and The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh. Her many film credits include Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment; A Man For All Seasons; Blow-Up; Camelot; Isadora; Mary, Queen of Scots; Julia; The Bostonians; Wetherby; Prick Up Your Ears; Howard’s End; A Month By The Lake; Mrs. Dalloway; Cradle Will Rock; Atonement; Evening; Cars 2; Miral; Letters to Juliet; The Whistleblower and Anonymous. Her television credits include If These Walls Could Talk 2; The Fever; The Day of the Triffids; Playing for Time, Nip/Tuck, Call The Midwife, Political Animals and The Call Out.
Vanessa recently starred in The Revisionist alongside the author Jesse Eisenberg at the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York. In 2012 she was Guest Artistic Director at the Brighton Festival. Previously, Vanessa starred opposite James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines in Driving Miss Daisy at the Wyndham’s Theatre. For her performance she won Best Actress at the 2012 Whats On Stage Awards. The play previously enjoyed a record breaking sell-out run on Broadway and Vanessa received a Tony Award nomination.
Vanessa’s Broadway credits include the landmark 2003 production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and acclaimed revivals of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending and Ibsen’s The Lady From the Sea. In her native England, her scores of major roles on the stage most recently include recreating The Year of Magical Thinking at the National Theatre; Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket; The Tempest for the RSC at Shakespeare’s Globe and The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre.
Redgrave has worked with UNICEF-UK as a Special Representative from 1993-1995, and has been a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador since 1995. Her continued work with UNICEF led to her involvement with UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in many countries, and with UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency). She is a member and supporter of Memorial and Za Prava Cheloveka, the two principal Russian human rights foundations, and is also a supporter of Amnesty International and Liberty, which together comprise the leading human rights organisations in Britain.
Mark Rylance most recently appeared on stage in Nice Fish at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, which he co-authored with Louis Jenkins and which he also co-directed with Claire van Kampen, and in Richard III and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe and West End). Prior to that he appeared as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in the critically-acclaimed production of Jerusalem, a role he played at the Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway. In 2007, he wrote his first play, I Am Shakespeare, which premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Matthew Warchus, published in 2012 by Nick Hern Books.
His other theatre credits include Valere in La Bête, Hamm in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Robert in Boeing-Boeing and many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Glasgow Citizens. During his time as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe his work as an actor included the title roles in Henry V and Hamlet as well as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra and Olivia in Twelfth Night. His film and television work includes Anonymous, Intimacy, The Other Boleyn Girl, Prospero’s Books, Angels and Insects, Leonardo and David Kelly in C4’s The Government Inspector for which he won the BAFTA Best Actor Award.
Full casting includes: Tim Barlow as Verges (King Lear at the Sheffield Crucible, Death of a Salesman at Leeds Playhouse, Hot Fuzz); Penelope Beaumont as Ursula (The Only True History Of Lizzie Finn at the Southwark Playhouse, Alphabetical Order at the Hampstead Theatre); Kingsley Ben-Adir as Borachio (God’s Property at the Soho Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Vera for ITV); Katherine Carlton as Beryl (Much Ado About Nothing and numerous other productions at LAMDA); Beth Cooke as Hero (King Lear at The Abbey Theatre, Scorched Earth at the Southwark Playhouse/Soho Theatre); Alan David as Antonio (The Captain of Kopenick at the National, Jerusalem at the Royal Court and on Broadway); Michael Elwyn as Leonato (The Audience at The Gielgud, Rope at the Almeida Theatre, The Iron Lady); Lloyd Everitt as Claudio (Chariots of Fire at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End; King Lear at the West Yorkshire Playhouse); James Garnon as Don Pedro (The Tempest, Gabriel and Richard III at the Globe and for film, The Real American: Joe McCarthy); Melody Grove as Margaret (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart at the Royal Court and National Theatre of Scotland World Tour, The Importance of Being Earnest at the Lyric, Belfast); Trevor Laird as Conrade (Waking the Dead for the BBC, One Man, Two Guvnors and England People Very Nice both at the National); Leroy Osei-Bonsu as Messenger (Moby Dick at the Arcola, World War Z); Mark Ross as Sexton (Michael’s Story for the Circles Theatre Company, Henry V at the Inner Room Theatre); Peter Wight as Dogberry and Friar Francis (Trelawny of The Wells at the Donmar Warehouse, In Basildon at the Royal Court and in the West End and The Paradise for the BBC) and Danny Lee Wynter as Don John (Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at the Globe, Luther for the BBC, Hot Fuzz).
Much Ado About Nothing is produced in association with Shakespeare Road & Nicolas Kent.
Director Mark Rylance
Lighting Mimi Jordan Sherin
Music Claire van Kampen
Sound Emma Laxton
Movement Siân Williams
Casting Siobhan Bracke
October 12, 2012
Kevin Spacey’s last season as Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre will see Hollywood actress Kim Cattrall star in Sweet Bird of Youth this June.
Cattrall, who is most famous for playing Samantha in Sex And The City and recently starred in Antony and Cleopatra at the Chichester Festival Theatre, will play fading movie star Alexandra del Lago in Tennessee Williams’s 1959 play Sweet Bird Of Youth.
The play will be directed by the Tony and Olivier Award-winning co-director of War Horse, Marianne Elliott, with rehearsals from April and a June opening at the Old Vic.
There is no news on who will be cast as Chance Wayne, Alexandra’s gigolo boyfriend and a role immortalised on film by Paul Newman. Producers are believed to be looking for a high-profile American leading man.
STAGE SPY CHECK-LIST
- Show: Sweet Bird of Youth
- Theatre: Old Vic
- Director: Marianne Elliott
- Stars: Kim Cattrall
- Opens: June 2013
- Original source: Daily Mail
September 3, 2012
Save 35% on tickets to see Sheridan Smith in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic.
Sheridan Smith as Hedda Gabler
Olivier Award-winner Sheridan Smith stars in the Old Vic’s major new production of Ibsen’s masterpiece Hedda Gabler, directed by Anna Mackmin. Brian Friel’s adaptation of this seminal work reveals a play as fresh and shocking as when it was originally written.
48 Hour Sale: Save 35% on tickets
Enjoy top price £50 tickets (£45 during previews) for only £32.50, valid for Monday to Thursday performances from 5 – 30 September 2012 (excluding 12 September). BUT HURRY – this special offer is only available until 2.30pm on 5 September.
Don’t miss out on this limited offer to see Sheridan Smith give an extraordinary performance.
April 1, 2012
Reviews of the Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic Theatre starring Eve Best.
Jamie Lloyd’s new production of John Webster’s classic Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi has opened at the Old Vic. In the title role is Eve Best (Nurse Betty), joined by Game of Thrones star Harry Lloyd as Ferdinand, Tom Bateman as Antonio Bologna and Finbar Lynch as The Cardinal Of Aragon.
Webster’s poetic masterpiece tells the dark and bloody story of the recently widowed Duchess as she struggles to retain strength and dignity in the face of death.
See reviews below from the Guardian, Telegraph, Evening Standard and more.
March 25, 2012
Game of Thrones star Harry Lloyd joins Eve Best in the Old Vic’s new production of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi
Harry’s stage credits include:
March 11, 2012
Nurse Jackie star Eve Best returns to the Old Vic this summer in Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi
Eve’s stage career includes Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Young Vic) in 1999 (Best Newcomer Evening Standard Award, Best Newcomer Critics’ Circle Award), Hedda Gabler (Olivier Award), A Moon For The Misbegotten (Old Vic and Broadway) and As You Like It (Sheffield Crucible) in 2007, The Homecoming (Cort Theatre NY) in 2008 and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe) in 2011.
TV work includes The Bill and Casualty in 2000, The Infinite Worlds of H G Wells in 2001, Shackleton in 2002, Waking the Dead in 2004, Lie with Me in 2004, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries in 2005, Vital Signs in 2006, Prime Suspect: The Final Act in 2006 and the US hit series Nurse Jackie, which started in 2009. Other recent credits include The American Experience and Dolley Madison in 2010, and The Shadow Line in 2011.
Film work includes The King’s Speech.
Eve Best stars in John Webster‘s great Jacobean tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Jamie Lloyd. The cast also includes Madeline Appiah, Harry Attwell, Tom Bateman, Mark Bonnar, Adam Burton, Vyelle Croom, Lucy Eaton, Taylor James, Tunji Kasim, Harry Lloyd, Finbar Lynch, Nari Blair Mangat, Iris Roberts, Alan Westaway and Freddie Anness-Lorenz, Alexander Aze and Max Furst.
February 12, 2012
The full cast of Jamie Lloyd’s new production of John Webster’s classic Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi has been announced.
Joining Eve Best (Nurse Betty) in the title role at the Old Vic from 17 March 2012, will be Game of Thrones star Harry Lloyd as Ferdinand, plus Tom Bateman as Antonio Bologna and Finbar Lynch as The Cardinal Of Aragon. They are joined by Madeline Appiah, Harry Attwell, Mark Bonnar, Adam Burton, Vyelle Croom, Lucy Eaton, Taylor James, Tunji Kasim, Nari Blair Mangat, Iris Roberts and Alan Westaway.
Eve Best last appeared in London in 2011 at the Globe Theatre in Much Ado About Nothing. She last performed at the Old Vic in 2006 opposite Kevin Spacey in A Moon for the Misbegotten.
Webster’s poetic masterpiece tells the dark and bloody story of the recently widowed Duchess as she struggles to retain strength and dignity in the face of death.
July 13, 2010
Old Vic make journey into the West End with The Prisoner of Second Avenue
Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic theatre company will open its first West End show tonight, at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand.
A new production of Neil Simon’s 1971 comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue is the first project for the theatre company in the West End, and stars Hollywood actors Jeff Goldblum (Tall Guy) and Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King) for a limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre.
In the show Goldblum stars as Mel Edison, a man at breaking point. In the heat of a New York City summer his air-conditioning has broken, his neighbours won’t shut-up, his job is hanging by a thread and there are a gang of burglars on the prowl.
Terry Johnson, flush from his Tony success for La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway, directs the show.
ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:
Wednesday sees the opening of Ghost Stories at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London, following a sell-out season run at the Lyric Hammersmith.
A truly terrifying theatrical experience written and directed by The League of Gentlemen’s master of the macabre, Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman, co-creator and director of Derren Brown’s television and stage shows and star of Dead Set and Severance.
As three men gather together, each has an uncanny, chilling tale to tell. Ghost Stories played a hugely successful run at the Lyric Hammersmith before transferring to the Duke of York’s theatre in the West End. The show stars Nicholas Burns, David Cardy, Ryan Gage and Andy Nyman.
The show is strictly for theatregoers aged 16 and older.
June 28, 2010
New shows opening in London this summer
Spring and autumn may be the busiest times for new shows in London, but this summer will still pack quite a punch with some big names, high-profile directors and a few surprises in store.
A range of musicals and plays will open in the capital over the next few months, including classic musicals from Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods) and Rogers & Hammerstein (State Fair); starry comedy, including David Hyde Pearce and Joanna Lumley in La Bete, Jeff Goldblum in The Prisoner of Second Avenue and Simon Russell Beal and Jonathan Groff in Deathtrap); dance spectaculars (Burn the Floor), new musicals (Wolfboy), ambitious children’s drama (The Railway Children) and a terrifying new play (Ghost Stories).