(1) English Touring Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced a co-production of Thomas Middleton’s comedy A Mad World My Masters, which will arrive at London’s Barbican Theatre for a two-week run at the end of April 2015, following a national tour.
Exact dates, casting and ticket prices were yet to be announced as GTW went to press, however, London Theatre reported that the run will begin the week commencing April 27, 2015. Tickets will go on sale in September 2014. This version of A Mad World My Masters has been edited by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, and features scenic design by Alice Power, with sound and music by Ben and Max Ringham. Sean Foley said: “In creating the show, we wanted to make sure that nothing got in the way of communicating Middleton’s seething delight in exposing how hypocritical we can all be, so we set it at a time which is still within touching distance of us now. London is timeless, and 1950s Soho seemed to offer a stylish and recognisable stand in for London 1605: a post war world, where everyone is worried about sliding morals, the position of women, a changing class system, immigrants – and where on earth to get the next drink.”
(2) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has announced three new cast members. X Factor finalist Lloyd Daniels will make his musical theatre debut in the title role of Joseph. Lloyd was the youngest contestant in 2009’s competition. Joining Lloyd is BBC’s Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope. Following her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and a successful year as Eponine in Les Misérables in London’s West End, Hope will be playing the role of Narrator in Joseph. Matt Lapinskas will play Pharaoh in his first musical theatre role. Matt is famed for playing Anthony Moon in EastEnders. The new tour opens at Theatre Royal Windsor on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
(3) One of London’s oldest theatres, The Old Vic, is to see acclaimed director Matthew Warchus become its new Artistic Director. Warchus will be taking over the role in Autumn 2015, from Kevin Spacey who plans to step down after a decade in the position. Warchus currently remains The Artistic Associate at the venue, having worked on over 70 productions in London and on Broadway.
His current works include the musical Matilda and upcoming feature film Pride. The pair has worked together previously, with Warchus having directed Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in Speed-the-Plow in 2008. Matthew Warchus said; “I am excited and honoured to be following Kevin’s galvanising tenure at this wonderful building. He has re-established The Old Vic as a globally important theatre and I look forward to continuing to develop it as a hub of invigorating creativity.”
(4) Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt has been cast in the UK premiere of David Lindsay Abaire’s Tony-nominated drama Rabbit Hole, which will begin previews on September 11, 2014, with an official opening set for September 24. It continues until November 22, 2014. Ms. Froggatt will be directed by Olivier Award-winning actor Nigel Harman, whose West End acting credits include Shrek the Musical, I Can’t Sing! and A Chorus of Disapproval. Joanna Froggatt will play the role of Becca Corbett in Rabbit Hole. Her other theatre credits include All About My Mother and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?