Firstly, news of a new musical, which is always, er, music to my earsâ€¦ The Wind in the Willows is the next project for Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drew, the award-winning team behind Mary Poppins.
Fellowes, now best-known for creating Downton Abbey, (but don’t forget he was also responsible for wonderful work like Gosford Park, The Young Victoria and The Importance of Being Earnest) will write the musical’s book. Writing duo Stiles and Drewe are developing the music and lyrics. The pair have worked together for 28 years, creating successful shows like Betty Blue Eyes, Just So and Peter Pan. I’m looking forward to being able to tell you more about this show; as yet, there are no dates or venues for its London premiere.
Second, details of a transfer. It seems London just can’t get enough of the uber-successful One Man, Two Guvnors. First, it transferred from the National to the West End. Then, rumours the team had booked tickets to Broadway. And today, we have news it’s moving again, this time to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. There’ll be a change of lead as Owain Arthur takes over from James Corden as the One Man of the title. The rest of the casting is yet to be announced.
Finally, the Lyric Hammersmith’s 2012 programme has been announced. Edward Bond returns to the theatre with a trilogy of short plays called The Chair Plays. In addition, there’ll be a collaboration between Spymonkey and Kneehigh Artistic Director Emma Rice, called Oedipussy; Lovesong; Filter’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Three Kingdoms (part of the London-wide World Stages London festival).
- Strictly Come Dancing winner and former EastEnder Kara Tointon will star in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter next year. Alongside her will be Reece Shearsmith, Katherine Parkinson, Elizabeth Berrington, Steffan Rhodri and David Armand
- Kate Fleetwood and Denise Gough will star in Our New Girl at the Bush Theatre from 12 January
- Jaime Winstone (Ray’s daughter, and Made In Dagenham star) returns to the London stage in February in Sex With A Stranger. Also appearing in this new play at the Trafalgar Studios is Russell Tovey from Being Human, Gavin & Stacey and an original History Boy