Beverley Klein to star in Bernarda Alba

Triptic has announced that BEVERLEY KLEIN will be playing the title role in the UK premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s BERNARDA ALBA. Further casting will be announced shortly.

BEVERLEY KLEIN’s numerous credits include: Golde in Fiddler On The Roof (Savoy); the Witch in Into The Woods (Royal Opera House); the Old Lady in Candide (English National Opera and National Theatre); the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre); Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (Donmar Warehouse); Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Opera North).

First produced Off-Broadway in 2006 and based on Federico García Lorca’s classic 1936 play, Bernarda Alba is a taut, provocative musical about an emotionally and sexually repressed group of daughters rebelling against their smothering mother in 1930s rural Spain. Inspired by the drama and fire of Spanish flamenco and traditional folk songs and with an all-female cast, LaChiusa’s take on Lorca’s work is a seamless blend of music, drama and dance bursting with passion as the women’s struggle against a repressive regime culminates in a shocking climax.

Triptic is committed to staging neglected works of cultural, artistic or musical significance and to explore new and rarely-performed works. Previously known as MadCow Theatre Company, Triptic’s previous production was the critically acclaimed revival of Aaron Copland’s opera The Tender Land, seen at the Arcola Theatre in 2009.

For further information, visit: www.uniontheatre.biz

Eric Carle’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar takes to the stage

The UK premiere of Eric Carle’s classic THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR is set to enthral audiences across the country this Autumn, opening at Oxford Playhouse on Friday 2 September before embarking on a major national tour.
 
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR & OTHER FAVOURITES includes the story of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR’s metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly, as well as the fanciful account of LITTLE CLOUD’s travels through the sky and THE MIXED-UP CHAMELEON’s discovery of his own unique nature.
 
Directed and designed by Jim Morrow, who ranks among Canada’s most esteemed puppetry creators, the triple-bill show incorporates evocative original music by Nova Scotian composer Steven Naylor, and innovative “black light” staging techniques which highlight Morrow’s stunning puppets and props. The production stays very faithful to Carle’s stories, from which they are adapted, providing a new generation with a seamless entry into the world of theatre and music.
 
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR & OTHER ERIC CARLE FAVOURITES has become a signature piece of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Founded in 1972, Mermaid ranks among North America’s most respected creators of family entertainment. Unique adaptations of children’s literature have delighted more than four million young people on four continents.
 
Mermaid has earned Export Excellence Awards from both Nova Scotia (2001) and the Government of Canada (2001, 2005), was awarded the Crystal Tourism Ambassador Award by Nova Scotia’s tourism industry in 2008, and has been recognised as one of Atlantic Canada’s leading cultural employers.
 
Over 33 million copies of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR classic picture book have been sold worldwide and it has been translated into over 45 languages.

For more information, visit: www.mermaidtheatre.ns.ca

Backbeat Musical, the story of how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles at Duke of York’s Theatre

Backbeat – the adaptation of the 1994 film by Iain Softley on the birth of the Beatles – will be rock ‘n’ rolling its way to London’s Duke of York Theatre for its West End premiere from October.

Backbeat is the story of how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles – when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe embarked on their journey from the famous docks of Liverpool to search for success in the seedy red light district of Hamburg, working eight days a week, in the clubs of the tawdry Reeperbahn, performing rock ‘n’ roll covers night after night.

The compelling triangular relationship between the band’s original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, the striking German photographer Astrid Kirchherr whom he fell in love with, and his best friend John Lennon, became an intrinsic part of the Beatles’ story – and put them on an unstoppable trajectory onto the world stage.

Stuart’s struggle between his best friend and the band, Astrid and his art, makes Stuart the troubled focus of Backbeat. His death, aged only 22, in the same year that the Beatles appointed Brian Epstein as manager, signed to Parlophone Records by Sir George Martin, and released their first single ‘Love Me Do’, adds to the poignancy of this remarkable and vivid portrait of the early 1960’s.

Backbeat features the all-time rock ‘n’ roll classics that the Beatles cut their teeth with – ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’, ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Please Mr Postman’ and ‘Money’ – live on stage as performed by ‘the Beatles’.

Co-written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, with musical direction by Paul Stacey, and directed by the award-winning David Leveaux.

Book tickets for Backbeat at Duke of York’s Theatre!

A Clockwork Orange Coming to Stage

To honour the 50th anniversary of the controversial book, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, a musical version is set to hit the stage in Manchester.  This is very fitting given the book’s late author, Anthony Burgess, was born in Manchester.
 
Burgess wrote the script for a musical version of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and in 1990 it was performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company using original music by U2’s Bono and lead guitarist The Edge.
 
The 1971 film version by Stanley Kubrick was subsequently banned by the director himself due to the outcry it caused but not before this story became known through this film. Dr Andrew Biswell, director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, explained this version is so important because Burgess wanted to make his own stage adaptation (long after Kubrick made the film) in order to assert his own ownership of the story.  Dr Biswell also told BBC News about the differences between the various versions of the story.
 
As well as the production in Manchester, there is to be a separate version to be staged in September at the Theatre Royal Stratford in East London with a new score and script.

Choices and Voices at The Shaw Theatre

Choices & Voices  is a courageous one woman show written and performed by international spoken word artist and playwright Teju Chosen. Teju blesses London with 60 minutes of wit, wisdom, and her reflections on this wondrous wide world.

Through a display of song, spoken word and cutting edge drama straight from the heart, infused with soulful jazz and urban beats, Teju takes us on a voyage of her own sojourn. This brave, joyous and personal performance will leave you inspired, challenged, moved, laughing and tapping your feet for more.

Teju is the Artistic Director of the Creative Tongues Arts in Education organisation, which brings their own form of  EDUTAINMENT to the young and the young at heart. This motivating woman with vision, has hosted several of  her own shows including Organic Essence, The African Triangle and Up Close and Inspirational. In addition to screen appearances (poetry/acting), and radio interviews/performances, Teju has lit up stages in and around London, in South Africa, Frankfurt, New York, Chicago, Louisiana and many more destinations, far and wide.

She has also spent over three years as Writer in Residence in a London male prison. 

Her writing stems from her own observations, perceptions, feelings, and her own real life experiences. Come and experience a dynamic and interactive evening of enlightenment and fun as Teju tells you about why she writes, who she is, why she is still single, the righteous brotha search, the revolution, difficult choices most of us can relate to, what she’s reppin’, the sick doctor, the cellulite battle and much more.

“Nice to see another sister adding to the common wealth of creativity in this world” Nyame Nhyira Wo

“A Nubian princess who makes a computer screen speaks with eloquence and realistic overtones. Thank you for the moments of pleasure you have given me… Do not stop writing!” Dash

For more information about Teju Chosen and her work please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/poetrybyteju or www.quirkas.com

Rachel Tucker extends in Wicked The Musical

WICKED, the smash hit musical that tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to announce that Rachel Tucker will continue in her acclaimed starring role as Elphaba into 2012. Julie Legrand (Madame Morrible), Nikki Davis-Jones (Standby Elphaba) and Chloe Taylor (Standby Glinda) are also all continuing in their roles.

UK Executive Producer Michael McCabe commented: “Since first joining our cast in March 2010, Rachel has thrilled audiences and critics alike with her powerful and passionate performance as Elphaba. We are all absolutely thrilled that Rachel has now decided to continue leading the company with her extraordinary professionalism and great dedication to the role – we couldn’t be more proud of her success”.

Louise Dearman (Glinda), Mark Evans (Fiyero), Clive Carter (The Wizard), Julian Forsyth (Dr Dillamond), Zoe Rainey (Nessarose) and Ben Stott (Boq) will all play their final performances on Saturday 10 December 2011.

WICKED recently celebrated its landmark 2000th performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. This “hugely popular musical” (The Times) has now been seen by almost 4 million people and grossed in excess of £135 million at the UK Box Office since its West End premiere in 2006.

Acclaimed as “the hit musical with brains, heart and courage” (The Sunday Telegraph) WICKED has won multiple awards including the 2010 Olivier Award for Most Popular Show and the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best West End Show in both 2011 and 2010.

WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and is directed by Joe Mantello. WICKED is based on the novel, Wicked – The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire.

Oliver! the musical – Brand New UK Tour!

Following a sell-out run in London’s West End, Cameron Mackintosh’s fabulous new production of one of the most beloved British musicals ever, Oliver! is embarking on a brand new tour around the UK and Ireland.

Vividly bringing to life Dickens’ timeless characters with its ever-popular story of the boy who asked for more, Lionel Bart’s sensational score includes Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more. A must-see for families!

For further details, visit: http://oliverthemusical.com

Stomp extension until 15th December 2012

Stomp at Ambassadors Theatre has extended its London run from Mon 17th October 2011 to Saturday 15th December 2012.

This multi-award winning show has a universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance.  Eight performers use everything from Zippo lighters, plastic bags, bin lids and even the kitchen sink to hammer out an explosively feel good rhythm.

‘IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN STOMP, GO! If you have seen it, take someone who hasn’t and share the pleasure’  Boston Herald

Book tickets for Stomp at Ambassadors Theatre!

Thandie Newton makes her West End debut in Death and the Maiden at the Comedy Theatre

Thandie Newton (Run, Fatboy, Run & Mission Impossible 2) makes her West End debut in Death and the Maiden at the Comedy Theatre from 13th October.

Death and the Maiden is a 1990 play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. The world premiere was staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London on 9 July 1991, directed by Lindsay Posner. It had one reading and one workshop production prior to its world premiere.

Paulina Salas is a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country who had been raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw. The rapist doctor played Schubert’s composition Death and the Maiden during the act of rape; hence the play’s title.

Years later, after the (also unnamed) repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated country house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. When Gerardo comes back from a visit to the president, he gets a flat tire. A stranger named Dr. Miranda stops to assist him. Dr. Miranda drives Gerardo home and later in the night he returns. Paulina recognizes Miranda’s voice and mannerism as that of her rapist, and takes him captive in order to put him on trial and extract a confession from him.

Unconvinced of his guilt, Gerardo acts as Roberto Miranda’s lawyer and attempts to save his life. After hearing the full story of her captivity from Paulina, Gerardo formulates a confession with Roberto to appease Paulina’s madness and set her free from her past.

Paulina records the entire confession and has Roberto write it out and sign it. She sends Gerardo out to get Roberto’s car so he can go home. While they are alone for the last time, Paulina accuses Roberto of being unrepentant and guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Max Stafford-Clark and Caryl Churchill in Top Girls at Trafalgar Studios

Max Stafford-Clark and Caryl Churchill are re-united once again for the smash-hit transfer of Top Girls.  Suranne Jones (Coronation Street) stars in this provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain.

The critics are raving that this powerful and brilliant new production substantiates Top Girls as one of the great modern classics.

It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. 

A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Starring Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.

Book tickets for Top Girls at Trafalgar Studios!