October 18, 2013
From 6 February 2014
The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Noel Coward’s Privates Lives is to be screened in cinemas across the UK.
Directed by Jonathan Kent and starring Toby Stephens as Elyot and Anna Chancellor as Amanda, the comedy originated in Chichester and recently played at the Gielgud Theatre where it was filmed in HD.
Private Lives will be screened in UK cinemas from 6 February 2014 (in the US 11 December 2013) as part of Cinema Live and Digital Theatre’s West End Theatre series.
October 18, 2013
Jonathan Kent’s production of Noel Coward’s Privates Lives, which originated in Chichester and recently closed at the Gielgud Theatre, is to get a big-screen outing.
The comedy, which stars Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor, will be screened in UK cinemas from 6 February 2014 (in the US 11 December 2013) as part of Digital Theatre’s West End Theatre series.
It will follow the Digital Theatre cinema release of Maria Friedman’s production of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along which rolls out in UK cinemas for one night only next week, on 24 October 2013 (in the US on Wednesday 23 October 2013).
More theatre at the movies coming soon includes NT Live’s Hamlet starring Rory Kinnear on 22 October 2013, Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein from 31 October 2013, Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art on 7 November 2013, the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston from 30 January 2014, and the National Theatre’s production of War Horse from 27 February 2014.
The RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon cinema programme will see David Tennant in Richard II, which opened last night in Stratford, on 13 November 2013, Henry IV Part I on 14 May 2014, Part II on 18 June 2014, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona on 3 September 2013.
February 5, 2013
Noel Coward’s glamorous, witty play Private Lives makes a welcome return to the West End with Jonathan Kent’s acclaimed Chichester production starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor as Elyot and Amanda.
Anna Chancellor’s theatre credits include Festival 2011’s South Downs and The Browning Version; The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead Theatre), Creditors (Donmar Warehouse, BAM) and The Observer (National Theatre). Television and film credits include Pram Face, The Hour, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Pride and Prejudice.
Toby Stephens’ theatre credits include Danton’s Death, The Real Thing, A Doll’s House and Coriolanus, and on screen Vexed, Jane Eyre and Die Another Day. More recently he has featured in Classic Chandler for BBC Radio 4.
Jonathan Kent has directed Sweeney Todd and A Month in the Country for Chichester. Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre for twelve years, he has an international career in both theatre and opera.
Theatre: Gielgud Theatre
March 23, 2011
British acting legend Dame Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79.
She died this morning, 23 March 2011, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure. Her children were by her side.
Considered to be one of the great Hollywood actresses, Elizabeth Taylor was born in London on 27 February 1932. In an impressive movie career she won two Oscars, for Butterfield 8 in 1960 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1966, and was nominated three times – for Raintree County in 1957, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in 1958 alongside Paul Newman and Suddenly Last Summer in 1959.
Her stage career came towards the end of her acting life, making her London stage debut at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1982 in Lillian Hellman’s drama The Little Foxes. The previous year she made her Broadway debut in the play at the Martin Beck Theater, New York (7 May to 6 September 1981).
Following Little Foxes she starred in Noel Coward’s Private Lives at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York alongside Richard Burton. The play also toured to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and LA.
Her final stage appearance, 24 years after Private Lives, was on 1 December 2007 in a one-off benefit performance of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, starring with James Earl Jones, at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. The play raised money for the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation.
September 24, 2010
A number of West End anniversaries are celebrated in London this week, including the 80th birthday of the Phoenix Theatre.
Today, 24 September 2010, marks the 80th anniversary of London’s Phoenix Theatre. Commissioned by Sidney Bernstein, who started Granada television, the Charing Cross Road theatre opened in 1930 with Noel Coward’s classic play Private Lives, staring Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Olivier and Adrianne Allen.
Other notable successes for the theatre included Noel Coward again, this time with his Tonight at 8.30 one-act plays in 1936, Canterbury Tales in 1968, Night and Day in 1978 and a long list of famous players including John Gielgud, Vivien Leigh, Paul Scofield and Vanessa Redgrave. The Phoenix Theatre currently hosts Willy Russell’s musical Blood Brothers, which opened at the venue in November 1991.
The Phoenix theatre was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Bertie Crew and Cecil Masey with Theodore Komisarjevsky.
A number of West End venues are celebrating their 80th birthdays this year, following a boom in theatre building in the Art Deco 1930′s, including the Prince Edward, Cambridge, Trafalgar Studios, Apollo Victoria and Adelphi theatres.
Stomp and Wicked
Long-running West End shows Stomp at the Ambassadors Theatre and Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre also celebrate birthdays this month. Stomp celebrates its 8th birthday tomorrow, having opened at the Vaudeville Theatre on 25 September 2002. The high-energy show, which combines theatre, dance, comedy and percussion, moved to its current home at the Ambassadors in 2007.
On Monday 27 September big-budget Broadway musical Wicked celebrates its 4th birthday at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London. Currently starring Lee Mead, Rachel Tucker and Louise Dearman, Wicked remains one of the most successful shows on both sides of the Atlantic. The Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman musical is based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a companion novel to L. Frank Baum’s classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
PHOENIX THEATRE QUICK FACTS
Hard to now imagine but the original site had been a factory, before becoming a Music Hall called the Alcazar.
In 1969 the owners of the Phoenix, Gerald and Veronica Flint-Shipman, organised a midnight matinee for Noel Coward’s 70th birthday, attended by Princess Margaret. A few days before, he opened the Noel Coward bar in the theatre’s foyer.
In 1976 the Phoenix hosted a Hollywood season of four plays featuring particularly starry names: Rock Hudson and Juliet Prowse in I Do I Do, Glynis Johns and Louis Jordan in 13, Rue De L’Amour, Lee Remick in Bus Stop and Douglas Fairbanks Jr in The Pleasure of His Company.
On reviewing the theatre when it first opened, The Stage newspaper said that, “Each seat has sufficient body and leg room and is provided with its own hat rack”.
June 19, 2010
OLIVIER AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS WINNERS
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
June 17, 2010
OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Supporting Winners
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
2012 Sheridan Smith for Flare Path
2009 Patrick Stewart for Hamlet
2008 Rory Kinnear for The Man Of Mode
2007 Jim Norton for The Seafarer
2006 Noma Dumezweni for A Raisin In The Sun, Young Vic
2005 Amanda Harris for Othello
2004 Warren Mitchell for The Price
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2011 Michelle Terry for Tribes
2010 Ruth Wilson for A Streetcar Named Desire
2002 Marcia Warren for Humble Boy
2001 Pauline Flanagan for Dolly West’s Kitchen
2000 Patricia Hodge for Money
1997 Deborah Findlay for Stanley
1995 Dora Bryan for The Birthday Party
1994 Helen Burns for The Last Yankee
1993 Barbara Leigh-Hunt for An Inspector Calls
1992 Frances de la Tour for When She Danced
1991 Sara Crowe for Private Lives
1984 Marcia Warren for Stepping Out
1983 Abigail McKern for As You Like It
1982 Anna Massey for The Importance Of Being Earnest
1981 Gwen Watford for Present Laughter
1980 Suzanne Bertish for Nicholas Nickleby
1979 Doreen Mantle for Death Of A Salesman
1978 Elizabeth Spriggs for Love Letters On Blue Paper
1977 Mona Washbourne for Stevie
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2011 Adrian Scarborough for After the Dance
2010 Eddie Redmayne for Red
2002 Toby Jones for The Play What I Wrote
2001 Ben Daniels for All My Sons
2000 Roger Allam for Money
1997 Trevor Eve for Uncle Vanya
1995 Ken Stott for Broken Glass
1994 Joseph Mydell for Perestroika
1993 Julian Glover for Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2)
1992 Oleg Menshikov for When She Danced
1991 David Bradley for King Lear
1984 Edward Petherbridge for Strange Interlude
1983 Alan Devlin for A Moon For The Misbegotten
1982 David Healy for Guys And Dolls
1981 Joe Melia for Good
1980 David Threlfall for Nicholas Nickleby
1979 Patrick Stewart for Antony And Cleopatra
1978 Robert Eddison for Twelfth Night
1977 Nigel Hawthorne for Privates On Parade
Best Supporting Performance
2003 Essie Davis for A Streetcar Named Desire
1999 Brendan Coyle for The Weir
1998 Sarah Woodward for Tom & Clem
1996 Simon Russell Beale for Volpone
1989/90 Michael Bryant for Hamlet, The Voysey Inheritance and Racing Demon
1988 Eileen Atkins for Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and Mountain Language
1987 Michael Bryant for King Lear and Antony And Cleopatra
1986 Paul Jesson for The Normal Heart
1985 Imelda Staunton for A Chorus Of Disapproval and The Corn Is Green
1976 Margaret Courtenay for Separate Tables
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical
2012 Nigel Harman for Shrek The Musical
2011 Jill Halfpenny for Legally Blonde – The Musical
2010 Iwan Rheon for Spring Awakening
2009 Lesli Margherita for Zorro
2008 Tracie Bennett for Hairspray
2007 Sheila Hancock for Cabaret
2006 Celia Imrie for Acorn Antiques – The Musical!
2005 Conleth Hill for The Producers
2004 The Chorus of Jerry Springer – The Opera
2003 Paul Baker for Taboo
2002 Martyn Jacques for Shockheaded Peter
2001 Miles Western for Pageant
2000 Jenny Galloway for Mamma Mia!
1999 Shuler Hensley for Oklahoma!
1998 James Dreyfus for Lady In The Dark
1997 Clive Rowe for Guys And Dolls
1996 Sheila Gish for Company
1995 Tracie Bennett for She Loves Me
1994 Sara Kestelman for Cabaret
1993 Janie Dee for Carousel
1992 Jenny Galloway for The Boys From Syracuse
1991 Karla Burns for Show Boat
June 7, 2010
OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Costume Winners
Best Costume Design
2012 Crazy For You designed by Peter McKintosh
2011 After the Dance designed by Hildegard Bechtler
2010 Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert – The Musical designed by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner
2009 The Histories designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams
2008 Vicki Mortimer for The Man Of Mode at the National
2007 The Voysey Inheritance, designed by Alison Chitty at the National Lyttelton
2006 The Dog In The Manger designed by Es Devlin at the Playhouse
2005 All’s Well That Ends Well designed by Deirdre Clancey at the Gielgud
2004 Power designed by Christopher Oram
2003 Twelfth Night designed by Jenny Tirimani
Best Costume Designer
2002 Jenny Beavan for Private Lives
2001 Alison Chitty for Remembrance Of Things Past
2000 Julie Taymor for The Lion King
1999 William Dudley for Amadeus and The London Cuckolds
1998 Tim Goodchild for Three Hours After Marriage
1997 Tim Goodchild for The Relapse
1996 Anthony Ward for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Way Of The World and La Grande Magia
1995 Deirdre Clancy for Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Month In The Country
1994 Gerald Scarfe for An Absolute Turkey
1993 William Dudley for Heartbreak House, Pygmalion and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
1992 Mark Thompson for The Comedy Of Errors
1991 Jasper Conran for The Rehearsal
March 4, 2010
Round up of reviews of PRIVATE LIVES starring Kim Cattrall at the Vaudeville Theatre in London
IN A NUTSHELL
GU: A classy revival, expertly staged by Richard Eyre… but, while it will give pleasure, the partnership of Kim Cattrall and Matthew Macfadyen as Amanda and Elyot never struck me as hatched in some ante-room of heaven.
TE: Richard Eyre’s terrific new production
TI: Thanks to him [Eyre] and his lead actors you can’t miss the play’s unassuming point and purpose.
ES: Noël Coward’s comedy calls for a mixture of turbulence and dry urbanity, and Richard Eyre’s finely calibrated production of Private Lives exhibits just the right blend of these qualities.
IN: Kim Cattrall and Matthew Macfadyen display an onstage chemistry that works like a volatile charm in Richard Eyre’s exhilaratingly funny revival of the Noel Coward comedy classic.
VA: The delights of flippancy are only intermittently on offer in Richard Eyre’s effortful revival. It’s not just the headline casting of Kim Cattrall as Amanda that overbalances this production.
DM: This is a gorgeous, glorious production of Private Lives, just bitchy enough to be modern, yet old-fashioned enough to have a three-part form.
ON KIM CATTRALL
IN: Right from the moment when Cattrall first appears on the hotel balcony clad only in a snowy white beach towel. With her tossed blonde curls and barbed flightiness, she’s a delight. …she’s got very good comic timing and demonstrates a winning flair for emotional slapstick.
GU: Cattrall, most famed for Sex and the City, is actually very good as Amanda… she brings out the inviolable selfhood that, for Coward, was a vital part of sexual attraction.
TE: Cattral is a vision to behold, at ease in her body, and miraculously combining vulnerability with sharp wit.
TI: At first I thought… [Cattrall] too free with the sort of fluttery vowels Marilyn Monroe might have have emitted were she attempting an English accent, [but] she combines allure with the mulishness of a woman who knows her own mind as well as her own body.
ES: Cattrall conveys an arch playfulness and a good deal of flighty yet vulnerable glamour. There’s warmth, too, albeit perhaps not quite enough of it.
VA: Cattrall is as elegant and feline as could be hoped for… But it requires too much effort for Cattrall to iron out her North American inflections and accent, making her voice — and thus her performance — high-pitched and, on occasion, forced.
DM: Actress Kim Cattrall almost completely sheds her identity as ‘that vamp from TV’s Sex And The City’… she produces a not quite faultless English accent. A few words such as ‘one’, ‘afterwards’, ‘going’ and ‘worry’ require attention, but as Elyot says in one of the play’s many memorable lines, ‘don’t quibble, Sibyl’.
ON MATTHEW MACFAYDEN
IN: Macfadyen is all the funnier for being so meatily masculine and solid a presence, with an accent that seems to mock its own port-wine plumminess in a manner that reminded me, at times, of Michael Gambon.
GU: There is a sanity about Macfadyen which doesn’t quite square with Elyot’s espousal of flippancy as a way of life.
TE: Matthew Macfadyen has more than a touch of the brutish bully about him.
TI: At first I thought him too aloof, even a bit sullen and stolid… But his wit has bite
ES: In the key roles, Kim Cattrall and Matthew Macfadyen have what might blithely be termed chemistry — though in fact it’s closer to particle physics, all energetic collisions and strong nuclear force.
DM: Mr Macfadyen resists any temptation to speak in a classic clipped Cowardese. He makes sense of the lines by using the sort of pouty tone of entitlement too often heard from today’s gilded 30-somethings.
VA: Macfadyen is an unusually weighty Elyot. But his unexpectedly baleful quality initially slows down the play’s pulse. He too warms up as the play progresses, but his rhythm only rarely seems in synch with Cattrall’s.
IN: Eyre’s splendid production alerts you anew to the fact that Private Lives is a dazzling feat of airborne comic dramaturgy.
GU: It is a clever, funny production that certainly hits the spot. Only the nagging perfectionist in me makes me feel there is even more to Amanda and Elyot… they never quite acquire the halo of specialness that for Coward was the justification for living.
TE: This production never quite attains the bruising passion that Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman brought to the play a few years ago, but it comes close.
ES: Although it begins on an unexpectedly passive note, this is a satisfying and intelligently conceived production. It’s fluent, very funny and at times dazzlingly well-acted.
VA: The play only truly comes to life in the scenes of physical comedy… Cattrall’s presence may pull crowds, but compared with past couplings as blissful as Abigail Thaw and Simon Robson, or Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman, these two are simply working too hard.
KEY TO REVIEWS:
December 12, 2009
Offer valid until 11th March
Noel Coward’s dazzling comic masterpiece returns to the West End in a brand new production starring Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) and Matthew Macfadyen. Richard Eyre is to direct the new production at the Vaudeville Theatre in London
Coward’s comedy of manners finds Cattrall and Macfadyen playing former spouses who have been divorced from each other for five years. When fate finds them both honeymooning in the South of France in adjoining hotel rooms, their insatiable emotions are rekindled and they dive headlong into love and lust without a care for scandal, new partners or memories of why their marriage failed in the first place.
Cattrall, who famously plays Samantha in hit US show Sex And The City, last appeared on the London stage in 2006 when she starred in The Cryptogram at the Donmar Warehouse. She will also star in upcoming Roman Polanski thriller The Ghost.
Matthew Macfadyen played Mr Darcy in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride And Prejudice, opposite Keira Knightley, and other credits include hit spy drama Spooks, Little Dorrit and the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed film Robin Hood, in which he plays the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The play also stars Simon Paisley Day as Victor, who appeared in Entertaining Mr Sloane at Trafalgar Studios in January this year and previously in Timon Of Athens at Shakespeare’s Globe and The 39 Steps at the Criterion theatre. And Lisa Dillon as Sybil, who was most recently seen at the Almeida theatre in When The Rain Stops Falling, while her previous West End credits include Under The Blue Sky and The Master Builder. TV credits include BBC drama Cranford, Bright Young Things and Cambridge Spies.
Offer valid until 11th March