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New and Noteworthy
Producers Playful Productions and the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced that the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of and Bring Up the Bodies will transfer to the West En aftergreat acclaim for Director Jeremy Herrins productions of the Mike Poulton dramatisations of the Hilary Mantel novels about Cromwells life in the Tudor court have captured the public’s imagination, becoming international best sellers. The books have sold a staggering 1.8 million copies in the UK and 1.2 million copies in the US. Many of the RSC company will transfer to the West End including Ben Miles as Cromwell, Nathaniel Parker as Henry VIII, Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn, Paul Jesson as Cardinal Wolsey and Lucy Briers as Katherine of Aragon.
Rupert Goold has announced a new play by Mike Bartlett and another inspired by The Simpsons as part of his first season as artistic director at the Almeida Theatre. Bartlett’s play, called King Charles III, will run from April 3 to May 31, with press night on April 10. It imagines the Queen has died and Prince Charles has become king, and explores "the unwritten rules of our democracy and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.
Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid will star in new play, Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs, directed by Polly Teale, which will open at the Duchess Theatre on 27 May, with previews from 10 May 2014. Inspired by true events, this new play asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic. It marks the return to the London stage of multi award-winner Kathleen Turner for the first time since her tour-de-force performance in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
The UK premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s acclaimed play, Other Desert Cities, directed by Lindsay Posner, will be the first in a season of productions to be presented in-the-round at The Old Vic. It runs from 13 March 2014 with a press night on 24 March. For an idea of what to expect see our New York Reviews
And the latest production of Blithe Spirit will feature Jemima Rooper, Sandra Dickinson, Simon Jones and Patsy Ferran Janie Dee, Charles Edwards and Angela Lansbury. It will be directed by Michael Blakemore and open at the Gielgud Theatre on 18 March 2014, with previews from 1 March.
Rufus Norris is the surprise, but very welcome appointment, as Artistic Director of the National Theatre. Besides being a very likeable and modest bloke, he has a history of exciting artistic projects and he is prepared to take risks which is exactly what the National Theatre needs. I remember his early production in his time at the Young Vic translated by his wife Tanya Ronder of Peribanez review and of course Vernon God Little go here. More recently there was the fabulous production of Cabaret reviews and at the ENO an adventurous and very sexual Don Giovanni go here.
Shakespeare's Globe unveiled the official name of their new indoor theatre as The Sam Wanamaker Theatre. named after the organisation's founder, pioneering American actor and director. In the late 1960s a book was taken from a shelf in Worcester College Oxford, and a series of drawings fell from it. These are the earliest set of design drawings for an English theatre in existence.