LONDON TICKET -- August 1996
HALL OF FAME: Alongside the three Tony nominations (for himself as director, for the revival itself and for actor Martin Shaw) that Sir Peter Hall has collected for his superlative revival of Wilde's An Ideal Husband on Broadway, he has also a work list of unusual length even by his standards. In the West End the newly-appointed artistic director of the Old Vic currently has a triumphant adaptation (by himself and his wife Nicki) of Feydeau's Mind Millie for Me, starring the gorgeous Felicity Kendal, and if the plot about a nineteenth-century coquette with the heart of pure steel sounds vaguely familiar, that's because the farce was done once before in English: Noël Coward called it Look After Lulu and directed it for Broadway with Tammy Grimes and for the West End with Vivien Leigh.
Next, Hall, who moved his Julius Caesar into the Barbican from Stratford, goes on to direct the BBC's 70th anniversary radio revival of Shaw's Man and Superman and then has Jessica Lange coming over for a long-delayed West End debut in A Streetcar Named Desire. And all of that before October.
AMERICANS ABROAD: Jessica Lange is by no means the only American due over in the next few months. We are still promised the Disney Beauty and the Beast, a local-star staging of How To
Succeed in Business without Really Trying, David Soul in The Aspern Papers and such all-American plays as Angels in America (in its first commercial staging), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (the rumors are Diana Rigg and Patrick Stewart), Master Class (Jeanne Moreau as Maria Callas), The Heiress and Gene Wilder in the London premiere of Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor. No news yet of a London staging for Jonathan Larson's Rent, though it's bound to come after the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize, while our own musical summer is dominated by Martin Guerre and the revival of the Ayckbourn-Lloyd Webber By Jeeves.
LOST MUSICALS: While Ian Marshall-Fisher continues his sell-out series of lost musicals in concert every Sunday through the summer at the Barbican, two others have surfaced from the Broadway past. Cy Coleman's On the Twentieth Century comes into the Bridewell in August, while Maury Yeston's Nine is due for the Donmar Warehouse (home of the recently triumphant revivals of Company and Cabaret) in time for Christmas.
WHODUNNIT?: Those who have been desperate these last 50 years to find out the identity of the killer in The Mousetrap but cannot face seeing the play are in luck. The script will be published by Harper/Collins in an anthology of Dame Agatha Christie's work, despite a clause in her will demanding that it should not be in print until six months after the play closed. It is now reckoned that the clause should be deleted in view of the fact that the play clearly never will. -- By Sheridan Morley