Some opera news is sneaking its way into Thursday’s theatre slot: the co-creator of Jerry Springer the Opera is writing a new opera based on the life of American glamour model Anna Nicole Smith for the Royal Opera House. It sounds rather crazy, doesn’t it? You’ll have to wait until February next year to see the show, but the lead has already been cast: Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek will take on the role.
There’s also news of a transfer this week: Peter Hall’s production of Alan Ayckbourne’s Bedroom Farce opens at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 24 March. It comes to the West End following a successful run at the Rose Theare, Kingston last year. Sadly, it’s lost some of its top names: but Nicholas Le Provost, Jane Asher and Lucy Briers are replaced by the just as fantastic David Horovitch, Jenny Seagrove and Sara (“Philadelphia. Lovely.”) Crowe.
Two well-known faces from TV are joining the previously announced David Suchet and Zoe Wannamaker in All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre from May. Stephen Campbell Moore and Jemima Rooper will play the son and bereaved fiancée in Arthur Miller’s tragedy. You’ve probably seen Campbell Moore in The History Boys, doing stuff with the RSC, or in Ashes to Ashes or Wallis and Edward. And while Londoner Jemima Rooper will always be cool Nicki Sutton in As If for me; you might know her from Lost in Austen, Silent Witness or Hex.
You probably last saw Roger Allam dragged up, playing Zaza / Albin in the wonderful La Cage Aux Folles. This summer, he’s back on the London stage, playing a very different role. Allam is making his debut at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as Falstaff in the Dominic Dromgoole-directed productions, Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II. He’ll be playing alongside the hugely watchable Jamie Parker as Hal.
Of course, all the gossip this week has been about Love Never Dies. From five stars in the Independent to just two in the Times, plus a mauling among Phantom-loving bloggers, it’s certainly got people talking. It’s even divided people here at VL towers. I didn’t hate it, (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s tunes are lovely, some of the staging and design is fantastic, and the stars certainly give their all) but I must admit I was a little disappointed with the plot and the lyrics, and I definitely prefer the first Phantom!
Have you see Love Never Dies yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!