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Recent Reviews
Midsummer Night's Dream. Chimerica
To Kill A Mockingbird
Relatively Speaking
And In the End - The Death and Life of John LennonAnd In the End/Alexander Marshall
(London 2013)
Public Enemy . . .
These Shining Lives.
The Hothouse.

< pinter-- Passion Play.

Travels With My Aunt.

The Weir.

The Tempest.
The Book of Mormon.

Peter and Alice.

The Audience.
< Great Expectations
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. . .Past reviews and features are archived in two master indexes: Reviews . . . Features

New and Noteworthy
Tickets are on sale today for the world premiere of new stage musical From Here to Eternity. which will preview at the Shaftesbury Theatre from 30th September. Adapted from one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, this gripping tale of illicit love and army life unites the writing talents of Tim Rice (lyrics), Stuart Brayson (music) and Bill Oakes (book). It marks Tim's first new stage musical for over ten years and Stuart's West End début. The show will be directed by Tamara Harvey , designed by Soutra Gilmour and choreographed by Javier De Frutos Casting is to be announced. Published in 1951, this was James Jones’ début novel loosely based on Jones’ experiences in the pre-World War II Hawaiian Division’s 27th Infantry and the unit in which he served. In 1953 the novel was adapted into a film starring Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed. The film won 8 Academy Awards out of 13 nominations. To Book online visit:

This year, one of London's pioneering fringe venues Ovalhouse celebrates its 50th year as a theatre, having begun initially as a youth sports club. Priding themselves as having been at the forefront of championing experimental theatre companies in the 60s, women's theatre and gay theatre in the 70s & 80s, and Black and Asian theatre in the 90s, the Ovalhouse team continue to programme cutting edge theatre that celebrates and embraces the diversity of their South London locale. To this end, they have launched a season entitled Counterculture 50 which promises to be "part retrospectacle, part theatrical incubator of a more politically-engaged performance future."

So far, the season has yielded director Thomas Hescott's brilliant The Act, a devised exploration of gay underground culture in 60s Britain, performed as a one-man tour-de-force by Matthew Baldwin in Ovalhouse's intimate Upstairs space. Opening the season in the larger Downstairs auditorium, Omar El-Khairy'sSour Lips gives an often gripping - but slightly too drawn-out - imagined account of the mysterious story of AminaArraf, the blogger known as 'A Gay Girl in Damascus.' Forthcoming highlights include writer-performer Emma Adams's one-woman show Freakoid, about a woman's illicit relationship with her hoover, and The Forest and the Field, 'a gently seductive, immersive piece of non-fiction storytelling' from leading alternative theatremaker Chris Goode.

With a range of exhibitions and special events running alongside its diverse theatre schedule, the next few months promise to be a busy time for Ovalhouse, which is firmly cementing its reputation as a hotbed for theatre at its freshest and most exciting. For further information, check out or call 020 7582 7680.

More casting for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June 2013, directed by Sam Mendes. Alongside Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the cast will include Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina. Other cast will include Joe Allen, David Birch, Michelle Bishop, Mireia Mambo Bokele, Matthew Clark, Alex Clatworthy, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherston, Nia Fisher, Kate Graham, Clare Halse, Mark Iles, Daniel Ioannou, Kieran Jae, Jane McMurtrie, Natalie Moore-Williams, Sherrie Pennington, Damien Poole, Paul Saunders, Jack Shalloo and Jay Webb. Further casting to be announced.

Bruce Norris' new play The Low Road at the Royal Court has been extended for an extra two weeks until Saturday 11 May in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. This is the final production Dominic Cooke will direct at the Royal Court before he steps down as Artistic Director in April 2013. Bruce Norris's The Pain and theItch was the first play directed by Dominic in his inaugural season and they also collaborated on the Pulitzer prize winning Clybourne Park. In the current Norris play which opened in September 2010 at the Royal Court a young entrepreneur sets out on a quest for wealth with priceless ambition and a purse of gold. It's a fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism.

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.

After 10 years at the helm of the 250-seat Donmar, Michael Grandage has ended all rumors about his next career by launching his own commercial producing company. His inaugral star-driven 15-month slate includes Priates on Parade, Daniel Radcliffe in a revival of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in John Logan' new play Peter and Alice and Jude Law playing the title role in Shakespeare's Henry V. But instead of raising ticket prices to support the star casting, Grandage is pursuing a mission to widen access to theater. That means fewer premium seats per night of the lower price level tickets. Furthermore, for one performance of each production, the entire house will be free to first-time theatergoers. This makes it a risky endeavor and yet the total capitalization for the season -- grant-free -- was raised within six weeks of the company's initial-season announcement.

The company also is planning a 2014 film debut with John Logan's Genius, starring Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender, about the relationship between writer Thomas Wolfe and editor Maxwell Perkins, based on A. Scott Berg's book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.

James Bierman and Michael Grandage are launching their new company with a season of plays at the Noel Coward Theatre spanning 15 months from December 2012 to February 2014. Over 200 tickets per performance at £10, The following new work alongside classical and twentieth century plays will bedirected by Grandage: Privates On Parade by Peter Nichols, music by Denis King. . . Peter and Alice a new play by John Logan. . . The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh. . . A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry V by William Shakespeare. Actors joining the company for new initiative in the West End: Simon Russell Beale, Judi Dench, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe, Sheridan Smith, David Walliams, Ben Whishaw.

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