Welcome to today’s edition of ShentonSTAGE Daily that is e-mailed to subscribers every morning (to subscribe, send message to ShentonStageMailingList@gmail.com), and is also available online here.
MY WEEKLY LIST OF RETURNING AND UPCOMING SHOWS
This week’s updated list of returning and upcoming shows in the West End, in the regions and on Broadway is here: http://shentonstage.com/october-25-update-latest-scheduled-new-returning-shows/
THIS WEEK’S OPENINGS
This week’s major openings (and re-openings) include the return of Dear Evan Hansen to the Noel Coward from tonight, the RSC’s new family musical THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT (re-opening the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon on Thursday, and Broadway star Stockard Channing back on the London stage in a revival of ‘NIGHT MOTHER, opening at Hampstead Theatre, also on Thursday.
Tuesday October 26
- Mum (Soho Theatre, London, October 20-November 20, press night October 26) New play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (who wrote Emilia, that transferred from the Globe to the West End’s Vaudeville), that transfers to London’after its debut at Plymouth’s Drum Theatre. Press contact: Laura Myers at About Grace PR.
Also: Tuesday October 26
- Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre) Resuming performances from October 26, the 2020 Olivier winning musical will also return to Broadway, re-opening at its original home the Music Box from December 11, five years after its opening there. Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications. https://dearevanhansen.com/london/
Thursday October 28
- The Magician’s Elephant (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, October 14-January 1, press night October 26) The RSC premiere a new family musical by Nancy Harris (book and lyrics) and Marc Teitler (music and lyrics) based on the novel by prize-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo. Press contact: Kate Eveans at the RSC.
Also Thursday October 28
- ‘Night Mother (Hampstead Theatre), October 22-December 4, press night October 28. Hampstead’s artistic director Roxana Silbert directs a new production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1983 Broadway hit, that received its UK premiere at Hampstead in 1985. Press contact: Clare McCormack at Hampstead. https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2021/night-mother/
- Pride & Prejudice * (* Sort of) (Criterion Theatre, Now previewing, opens November 2) Isobel McArthur’s retelling of Jane Austen comes to the West End, after originally premiering at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre. Press contact: Amanda Malpass. https://prideandprejudicesortof.com
- Indecent Proposal (Southwark Playhouse, Now previewing, opens November 2). A new musical (book and lyrics by Michael Conley with music by Dylan Schlosberg), based on the novel by Jack Engelhard that became a 1993 film will feature Ako Mitchell, Jacqui Dankworth and Norman Bowman, directed by Charlotte Westenra. Press contact: Madelaine Bennett at the Gingerbread Agency. https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/indecent-proposal/
Regular readers of this newsletter and my tweets will know of my campaign to try to get the ALL theatres to take the safety of their audiences and staff seriously, in the absence of a failure of leadership from SOLT and UK Theatres to legislate and embed any such measures across the board. This has led, inevitably, to wildly different standards being applied; some theatres, like Chichester Festival Theatre, see most of the audience wearing masks, while at others, like Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse, even the staff do not wear them, as they have been allowed a ‘personal choice’ about whether or not to comply.
I have sometimes felt like I’m shouting in the wind; but my efforts are being noticed. A University contemporary, now a doctor in New Zealand but whom I’ve not heard from in the over 35 years since we graduated, got in touch to say, “I was a contemporary of your’s at Corpus. We move in very different worlds. I am a public health doc in New Zealand immersed in trying to make the world smoking free and you in the UK in the world of theatre (which I am almost entirely ignorant about, although I am going to the theatre next week as it happens). However, I just wanted to thank you for all your tweets in support of robust action to tackle COVID-19. You are doing a great job. I met up with another contemporary TJ in Montreal last year, and he is a respiratory physician working on the frontline and knows the reality of COVID. Talking to people like him makes me realise how important it is that people with some influence like you speak up, so thank you.”
An old friend from New York emailed yesterday to say, “I am sure it is not making you popular with the theater owners and managements but thanks for keeping on highlighting the lax (negligent even) policies of the establishment. It sounds really dangerous.”
And a West End actor messaged to say: “Goodness. I wrote a tweet asking people to wear their masks in theatres and I can’t believe the abuse! I’m sure many are bots but blimey, made me think of you!!!”
Yes, welcome to my world!
TODAY’S THEATRE BIRTHDAYS (OCTOBER 26)
Roger Allam, 68 (pic: above left, in A NUMBER at the Bridge Theatre in 2020, with Colin Morgan); Joanne Clifton, 38 (pic: above right, in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, opening a tour at Theatre Royal, Nottingham from November 5);Maurice Gran, screenwriter, 72; Seth MacFarlane, 48; Judith Mackrell, former dance critic for Guardian, 67