LONDON FALL PREVIEW: New Musicals from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Tori Amos, Duncan Sheik and More

By Mark Shenton
31 Aug 2013

Sheila Hancock

NEW PLAYS
Comedian and stage star Lee Evans (who was the original Leo Bloom in the London production of The Producers) will return to the West End stage in the world premiere of the late Clive Exton's Barking in Essex (at Wyndham's Theatre from Sept. 6). The cast also includes West End stage and screen veteran Sheila Hancock.

Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan will star as Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (at the Duke of York's from Oct. 30), a new play co-authored by brothers Robert and David Goodale that is based on the works of PG Wodehouse.

At the Royal Court, Vicky Featherstone's inaugural season at the helm of the London theatre will feature four world premieres, including The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas (from Sept. 5), a new play by Dennis Kelly, 2013 Tony winner for Best Book of a Musical for his work on Matilda the Musical, that Featherstone will herself direct. The Royal Court will also host a limited run of Let the Right One In (from Nov. 29), a production from Featherstone's former company, The National Theatre of Scotland, that is directed by John Tiffany, before it transfers to the West End.



Shakespeare's Globe also has two world premieres: director-turned-playwright Jessica Swale's Blue Stockings (from Aug. 24), telling the story of the first female undergraduates at Cambridge University, and Ché Walker's The Lightning Child (from Sept. 14), which is described as an anarchic take on Euripides' The Bacchae and features songs by Arthur Darvill (currently on Broadway in Once).

At the National, a new stage version of Erich Kästner's Emil and the Detectives, adapted by Carl Miller (in the Olivier from Nov. 16), will feature Naomi Frederick and Sue Wallace. The central characters of Emil and the Detectives will be played by 9-13 year olds, with a 50-strong ensemble of children recruited from local London boroughs, schools and youth theatres.

The RSC is to present the world premiere of Ella Hickman's Wendy & Peter Pan (at Stratford-upon-Avon's Royal Shakespeare Theatre from Dec. 10), as well as Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, a two-part theatrical adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning historical novels (at Stratford-upon-Avon's Swan Theatre from Dec. 11).

At North London's Tricycle and Hampstead Theatres, there will be two premieres: at the Tricycle, Moira Buffini's Handbagged (from Oct. 1) revolves around the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen, to be played, respectively, by Stella Gonet and Marion Bailey; and at Hampstead Theatre, Tamzin Outhwaite will star in actor-turned-playwright Simon Paisley Day's Raving (from Oct. 17).

At the London fringe's Southwark Playhouse, there will be a U.K. premiere for Beau Willimon's Farragut North (from Sept. 11), the Nobel Prize-winning Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Love Girl and the Innocent (from Oct. 9) and the world premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Ajax (from Nov. 6).

At Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre in South West London, Sam Walters opens his final season as artistic director of the theatre he founded some 42 years ago with the world professional premiere of Susan Glaspell's 1943 play Spring Eternal (from Sept. 11).

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