Well, it’s the 1st January 2013 and officially the start of a brand new year. There will undoubtedly be a lot of very sore heads this morning following the celebrations last night, but they can be soothed by the thought of the next twelve months that are stretching out ahead of us, full of promise and excitement. A new year means new memories to be made, and theatre can play a big part in that. So to start you on your way, here’s a preview of some of the best new London theatre productions coming to the West End in the very first month of 2013:
THE JUDAS KISS:
First seen in 1998, this play by British playwright David Hare returns to the West End in a revived production at the Duke of York’s Theatre. It revolves around the scandal of Oscar Wilde and his young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, focusing on two critical moments: the eve of his arrest at the Cadogen Hotel and a night he spent in Naples after his release from two years imprisonment. Hare provides an insight into their relationship and “speculates on the consequences of his self destructive fatalism, betrayal and love without trust.” A co-production by Robert Fox, Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Hampstead Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this version of The Judas Kiss is the Hampstead Theatre production. Directed by Neil Armfield, it stars Rupert Everett as ‘Oscar Wilde’ and Freddie Fox as ‘Lord Alfred Douglas’, playing alongside Cal Macaninch (Robert Ross), Ben Hary, Kirsty Oswald, Alister Cameron and Tom Colley. The Judas Kiss starts previews at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 9th January 2013 and opens on 17th January 2013. It ends its run there on 6th April 2013.
Simon Gray’s award-winning play is a ‘tragicomic’ account of several years in the life of seven teachers. Set in an English language school for foreigners in the 1960’s, it centres on the nice, but hopeless, St. John Quartermaine who is always there to lend his self-centred colleagues an ear to listen. The arrival of a new principal may jeopardise his future there however. Produced by Michael Codron and Theatre Royal Bath Productions, this production is directed by Richard Eyre and stars Rowan Atkinson as ‘St. John Quartermaine’. The rest of the cast features Conleth Hill (Henry Windscape), Will Keen (Derek Meadle), Felicity Montagu (Melanie Garth) and Malcolm Sinclair (Eddie Loomis). Previews for Quartermaine’s Terms begin at the Wyndham’s Theatre on 23rd January 2013. It opens on 29th January 2013 and runs until 13th April 2013.
Harold Pinter’s play comes to the Harold Pinter Theatre (formerly the Comedy Theatre) this month in a Sonia Friedman (SFP) production. While locked away in an isolated farmhouse, three friends reminisce about their early days together in London, but underlying sexual tensions and conflicting memories end up bringing the past very much into the present. Under the direction of Ian Rickson, Rufus Sewell plays ‘Deeley’ while Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams alternate the roles of ‘Kate’ and ‘Anna’. Old Times starts previews at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 12th January 2013 and opens on 31st January 2013, running until 6th April 2013.
ROCK OF AGES:
This Broadway musical transferred to the West End in September 2011, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre with an all-star cast that included Shayne Ward and Justin Lee Collins. It closes there on 6th January 2013 and moves across town to its new home at the Garrick Theatre. Set on the Sunset Strip in 1987, it tells the tale of wannabe rocker, Drew, who falls in love with small-town girl, Sherrie, who he meets at LA’s famous bar/club The Bourbon Room. Directed by Kristin Hanggi and with a book by Chris D’Arienzo and choreography by Kelly Devine, the jukebox musical features some of the biggest rock classics of the 80’s, such as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’, ‘We Built This City’ and ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’. The current cast includes Ross Hunter as ‘Drew’ and Natalie Andreou as ‘Sherrie’, alongside Tim Howar as rock star ‘Stacee Jaxx’, Daniel Fletcher as club owner ‘Dennis Dupree’ and Simon Lipkin in the narrator role of ‘Lonny’. Rock of Ages re-opens on 18th January 2013 at the Garrick Theatre, where it is currently booking until 2nd November 2013.
This National Theatre production of Simon Stephen’s play comes to the West End, bringing the Stockport of 1998 with it. It’s midnight, and as 11 year old Rachel and 6 year old Billy excitedly wait in the car, their mother is at her wit’s end with their chatter, fighting and the dreams of Disneyland. While their drunken father has locked himself in their flat, she is about to leave them all for good. That pivotal moment changes the lives of those two young children, who grow up over the next thirteen years, largely abandoned, in the deprivation of Manchester’s suburbs. Directed by Marianne Elliot, the drama features a talented cast which includes: John Biggins, Calum Callaghan, Jack Deam, Danny Kelly, Mike Noble, Kate O’Flynn, Katherine Pearce and Liz White. Previews for Port begin on 22nd January 2013 at Lyttelton, National Theatre. It opens on 28th January 2013 and runs until 24th March 2013.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Tuesday 1st January 2013