Round-up of news, treats and other interesting things

I’m not one to blow my trumpet too much, honest, but it was nice to discover that the blog has been named one of Feedspot’s Top 50 Drama Blogs and Websites.

(c) Faye Thomas

This autumn the National Theatre will stage the world-premiere of Network, Lee Hall’s new adaptation of the Oscar-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky.

Directed by Ivo van Hove, Tony award winner Bryan Cranston plays Howard Beale and announced today is Michelle Dockery as Diana Christenson.

Michelle said: “It’s a wonderful feeling to be going back to the National after eight years. To be working with Bryan Cranston and Ivo van Hove on an adaptation of this brilliant film is a rare and exhilarating opportunity, I am thrilled.”

A very limited number of additional on stage seats will be released in the autumn – see the NT website for more information.

Alice Hamilton (Visitors and Eventide, Bush Theatre) returns to the Orange Tree following Robert Holman’s German Skerries to direct Sarah Belcher (Medea, Almeida; Twelfth Night, Filter/RSC), Ian Gelder (The Treatment, Almeida; Kevan Lannister in four series of Game of Thrones), Colin Tierney (The Father, Theatre Royal Bath/Tricycle), Connie Walker (Death of a Salesman, Northampton/tour) and Sue Wallace (Husbands and Sons, Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre).

Major post-war playwright David Storey died in March 2017. Born in Wakefield, he was the son of a Yorkshire miner and became a distinctive voice of working class Britain, especially through productions at the Royal Court Theatre in the 1960s and 70s.

Previewing from 7 September, this is the first major production of his play The March on Russia since premiering at the National Theatre in 1989.

Following last week’s opening of Girl from the North Country at The Old Vic, a video has been released of one of my favourite numbers from the show – Sheila Atim’s performance of Bob Dylan’s ‘Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)’.


Though it means we in the UK lose them for a good wodge of time, it is great to see that the seven original London leads from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will star in the Broadway production of the show when it opens across the pond in March 2018.

Reprising their roles will be Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), Poppy Miller (Ginny Potter), Alex Price (Draco Malfoy) and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy).

They will be joined by a cast of 28 new actors in the production which officially opens at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway on 22 April 2018.

They include David Abeles, Brian Abraham, Shirine Babb, Jess Barbagallo, Stephen Bradbury, Lauren Nicole Cipoletti, Joshua De Jesus, Jessie Fisher, Richard Gallagher, Susan Heyward, Geraldine Hughes, Edward James Hyland, Byron Jennings, Katie Kreisler, Joey LaBrasca, Andrew Long, Kathryn Meisle, Angela Reed, Dave Register, Adeola Role, James Romney, Malika Samuel, Alanna Saunders, David St. Louis, Stuart Ward, Madeline Weinstein, Alex Weisman and Benjamin Wheelwright.

The full cast joining Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire> in James Graham’s Labour of Love has been announced.

The play follows David Lyons, a Labour MP played by Freeman, over the course of 25 years as the country, and the Labour party, undergo significant changes in philosophy, culture and class. Lancashire will play Lyons’ his constituency agent Jean Whittaker.

Rachael Stirling will play Elizabeth Lyons. Her previous theatre credits include The Winter’s Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Medea (Headlong) and The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse). She has appeared on screen in Doctor Who and Detectorists, and was nominated or an Olivier Award for her role in The Priory at the Royal Court.
Kwong Loke will play Mr Shen. Loke has previously appeared in You For Me For You (Royal Court Theatre), The Lulu Plays (Almeida Theatre) and Hiawatha (Bristol Old Vic), a well as the films At Sea on Inya Lake and Another Land.
Len Prior will be played by Dickon Tyrrell. His work at the Globe includes Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Othello and The Oresteia, and his work at the Royal Court includes Anatomy of a Suicide and Harvest.
Susan Wokoma will play Margot Miller. She has previously appeared in A Raisin in the Sun (Sheffield Crucible, UK tour), Henry IV, Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse at St Ann’s Warehouse) and Game (Almeida Theatre).
Jeremy Herrin directs the piece for Headlong, and this world premiere marks the return of Michael Grandage Company to the West End for the first time since Photograph 51 which starred Nicole Kidman.



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