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

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31 Aug 2013

Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon in <i>Scottsboro Boys</i>.
Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon in Scottsboro Boys.
Paul Kolnik

Among the stars gracing London stages in the fall will be Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Sheridan Smith, David Walliams, Jude Law, David Tennant and Tom Hiddleston (all of them headlining in plays by Shakespeare) as well as Olivia Williams, Ben Whishaw, Rupert Grint, Brendan Coyle, Matthew Macfadyen, Henry Goodman, Lesley Manville, Antony Sher and an allegedly farewell season for Barry Humphries.

New musicals will include the latest from Andrew Lloyd Webber (Stephen Ward, a bio-musical based on the real-life story of a British political scandal of the early 1960s), another from Tim Rice (From Here to Eternity, adapted from the celebrated novel and film of the same name), plus Roddy Doyle adapting his own novel The Commitments for the stage. The National Theatre will present the world premiere of The Light Princess, featuring music and lyrics by Tori Amos, while the Almeida will offer the world premiere of American Psycho, Duncan Sheik and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's stage version of Brett Easton Ellis' novel of the same name.

Imports from New York will include the U.K. premiere of Kander and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys, with a cast that includes the Tony-nominated stars of the Broadway original, Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon. Domingo will first also reprise his solo show, A Boy and His Soul, at London's Tricycle Theatre. Both of those shows first originated at New York's Vineyard Theatre, also the originating home for Nicky Silver's The Lyons, which will receive its U.K. premiere at London's Menier Chocolate Factory. Other plays from New York will include Beau Willimon's Farragut North (originally premiered under the auspices of the Atlantic Theater Company in 2008).

Mark Rylance

STAR SHAKESPEARE
The stars are turning out for Shakespeare this fall, including some surprising casting. At the Old Vic, Vanessa Redgrave will play Beatrice, and James Earl Jones will play Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (from Sept. 7), reuniting them from Broadway's 2010 revival of Driving Miss Daisy for which Redgrave was Tony-nominated. It is directed by Tony-winning actor Mark Rylance, former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe and a two-time Tony Award winner as an actor for Boeing-Boeing and Jerusalem.

The new Michael Grandage Company, resident this year at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre, will wrap its debut season with two consecutive Shakespeares: Grandage will direct Sheridan Smith and David Walliams as Titania and Bottom, respectively, in A Midsummer Night's Dream (from Sept. 7 for a run through Nov. 16), then Jude Law in the title role of Henry V (from Nov. 23), reuniting the star with the director of his Hamlet that was originally produced under the auspices of the Donmar Warehouse at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre before transferring to Broadway.

David Tennant will return to the RSC, where he was last seen in the title role of Hamlet, to now play the title role of Richard II (at Stratford-upon-Avon's Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Oct. 10-Nov. 16, before transferring to the RSC's former home of the Barbican Theatre, Dec. 9-Jan. 25, 2014).



And, Tom Hiddleston will return to the Donmar Warehouse, where he previously appeared in Othello and Ivanov, to play the title role in Coriolanus (from Dec. 6), under the direction of artistic director Josie Rourke. Also in the cast will be Mark Gatiss, best known as one of the original line-up of The League of Gentlemen, as Menenius.

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