This month sees some major classic and modern revivals on London stages: Tim Supple's Comedy of Errors (Young Vic); Heartbreak House (Almeida) with Richard Griffiths and Patricia Hodge; Arnold Wesker's Chips with Everything, launching Trevor Nunn's management at the National; an Alan Howard King Lear for Peter Hall (Old Vic); Sam Mendes's Othello (National) and Ian McKellen (also at the National) in An Enemy of the People. On the musical front it is good to be able to report some major new scores. Enter the Guardsman (Donmar), one of the winners of last years's Musical of the Year contest in Denmark, is a lovely chamber version of the Molnar backstage comedy; while another of those winners, The Three Musketeers, also comes to town this month. Elsewhere, there's Maddie -- a much acclaimed new score in Salisbury last year -- about a 1920's movie star returning from the grave to haunt the newlyweds who have bought her old house (imagine a crossover between Sunset Boulevard and Blithe Spirit!). Then there's Dorian Gray, a brand-new Oscar Wilde musical, and the great new Matthew Bourne Cinderella.
On a personal note, from the end of this month for four weeks at the Jermyn Street Theatre, I am for the first time ever directing a show -- a much revised version of the Noel & Gertie that I wrote in the early 1980s, now starring the magical Peter Land and Elizabeth Counsell, with the wondrous pianist Michael Law. It is still a very intimate two-character musical, but I've tried through the songs, poems, sketches and plays of Coward to illustrate the extraordinary depth of his devotion to Gertie; they were always central to each other's life, work and happiness, and that is what the show is all about.
-- By Sheridan Morley