Oh August, you cruel month. You teased us with the warming glow of the sun then whipped it away like a bully taunting a small child. At least we had some hot theatre news to see us through.
News like the identity of the actors who will join Hollywood star and tabloid favourite Lindsay Lohan in Speed-The-Plow this autumn. The men in question are US star of The West Wing Richard Schiff and London stage regular Nigel Lindsay. The pair play film producers whose plans are scuppered by a manipulative secretary in David Mamet’s play, which runs at the Playhouse Theatre.
Lucy Punch, who will soon be seen on the big screen playing Lucinda in Into The Woods, will step into Billie Piper’s shoes when National Theatre hit Great Britain transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This is the show the NT announced just days before it opened, which satirises the press, police and politicians. Punch plays the ambitious news editor of a tabloid that will stop at nothing to increase its readership.
There was more casting news from the Donmar Warehouse, where rising star Cynthia Erivo, who caught the eye in both The Color Purple and I Can’t Sing, has joined the cast of an all-female Henry IV. She’s joined in the production by Harriett Walter, Jackie Clune and My Mad Fat Diary’s Sharon Rooney, who’s making her professional stage debut in the show.
More good news from the stage adaptation of Shakespeare In Love; the tale of a playwright with writer’s block who frees his pen when he falls in love with a noblewoman beyond his reach has proved so popular that it has extended its London run into 2015.
And speaking of long-running productions, of sorts, Miss Saigon is celebrating its 25th anniversary on 22 September with a gala performance bringing together the original cast with the new stars. If the heat is on in Saigon that night, it’s probably due to the number of candles on the show’s birthday cake!