IN THE JOINT
Sweet Charity starring Bonnie Langford is destined for the West End. Back Street productions, who were responsible for Hot Shoe Shuffle and Tap Dogs, are behind the venture. It will be starting out of town in March 1998, in the Churchill Theatre, Bromley.
Langford starred in the original cast of Catsalong with Elaine Paige and Wayne Sleep.
STAND UP ON THE STRAND Producer Edward Snape has masterminded a plan to bring vaudeville back to the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand.
Each year from Autumn to Spring there will be a dedicated season of variety acts. Julian Clary's Special Delivery kicks off the venture on December 9.
The Right Size and Kit and the Widow (a throw back to Flanders and Swann) are confirmed to play during the season.
Snape has asked legendary entertainer Bob Monkhouse if will do a stint to celebrate his 70th birthday.
FROM IN-YOUR-FACE TO IN-YOUR-LAP
Peter Hall's wonderful season of striking "in your face" drama at the Old Vic comes to an end this month. His productions have included Waiting for Godot, Waste and An Ideal Husband (Which played Broadway and has now returned to London where it is currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre). Sir Peter has restored repertory to London; his plays were performed seven days a week-- however all good things must end.
Rumours are still flying about the fate of the Old Vic. The most popular (to non-theatregoers) urban myth at the moment is that a Texan company which specialises in lap dancing venues have made an offer.
The Royal National Theatre's production of Amy's View which will transfer to the Aldwych in January 1998, has already extended its booking period to April due to popular demand. So I guess the U.S. will have to wait just a little longer before seeing Dame Judi Dench tread the Broadway boards... But tread them she must.
Panto mania continues... Dora Bryan, the classic comedienne who took over from Carol Channing in Hello Dolly!, had to drop out of Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre pantomime. She was due to appear with dancers Wayne Sleep and Frederick Pyne as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Jean Boht (from TV's "Bread" ), has come to the rescue.
NORTH EAST EXPOSURE
Robson Green, award winning actor and other half of chart-topping duo Robson and Jerome, has formed the production company Coastal Productions, with a vision to help Newcastle's Live Theatre.
Green hopes to provide an annual budget of £115,000 to cultivate a wealth of talented writers, directors and actors from the North East. No doubt he will use his influence in the TV world to help Tyneside's finest. There's a lot of talent in Geordie land. (Geordie being the slang term for the populace of Newcastle)... i.e. Sting, Alan Price, Jimmy Naill et al.
-- By Ashley Herman