Musical theatre does not offer much for the retro connoisseur, but last week it was announced that the Broadway production of Hair is coming to the Gielgud Theatre in London.
Hair was first performed off-Broadway in 1967, transferring to Broadway a year later. It has since been revived several times with the current Broadway production winning a prestigious Tony award. For the first time ever, the entire cast of a Broadway production is coming over to the UK. The show is set against a backdrop of the Vietnam war and features a cast of hippies, the infamous nude scene and songs including “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In”.
Described as “a celebration of life, love and freedom, and a passionate cry for hope and change” Hair may sound like a naïve relic from a more innocent time, but new audiences have been finding parallels between the anti-Vietnam sentiments of the show and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Joe Orton’s breakthrough 60s play Entertaining Mr Sloane is to have a revival – hitting the London stage from January 2009.
Not just a play, also a superb movie (reviewed over at Cinedelica), Entertaining Mr Sloane revolves around Sloane (played by small screen mod Mathew Horne of Gavin & Stacey fame), who charms his way into the house of middle-aged spinster Kath (Imelda Staunton) and her gay brother Ed. Both compete for Sloane’s affections, leading to blackmail and eventually murder.
The English Touring Theatre production kicks off at Trafalgar Studios 1, 14 Whitehall Street, London SW1 2DY, running from 22nd January to 11th April 2009. Further details and tickets are available from the link below.
There was a play doing the rounds a couple of years back called Once Upon A Time In Wigan, but now there’s another about to premiere – Once Upon A Time In Wigan – Live!
Making its debut at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, it’s described as ‘a full-on celebration of Wigan Casino and its legendary Northern Soul all-nighters when kids from blue collar lives all across the country could escape 70s tedium and get Out on the Floor and Dance Dance Dance.’
The classic 1946 film, Brief Encounter premiered at the cinema on the Haymarket in London and now it is making a return to that same venue, but as a stage play.
This production will switch between theatre and film, combining Noel Coward’s original stage play Still Life and the screenplay of Brief Encounter. The story involves the lives and loves of three couples played out in a station tearoom.
As well as the chance to see this classic tale on stage, this is also an opportunity to see the Haymarket venue being used as theatre. When the venue opened in 1927 it was suitable for both film and theatre shows, but gradually film began to dominate its repertoire and it became a three screen cinema in 1979.
The show previews from 2 February until 22 June and tickets are being offered at a discounted rate for the first month. For further information visit the website www.seebriefencounter.com
Possibly the most 70s clip on YouTube (from the fashion to the furnishings), this is an opening scene from Mike Leigh’s TV adaptation of the play, with Alison Steadman as Beverly, hosting the party from suburban hell. Every home should have a copy.
I used to be a big Tintin fan, right down to the haircut – so I’ll be buying a ticket for Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin, a theatrical version of the classic cartoon strip, which starts a UK tour from Saturday 28th July, kicking off at the Watford Palace Theatre.
Based on the book Tintin in Tibet, Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin follows our hero, his loyal dog Snowy and Captain Haddock as they battle to rescue their friend Chang lost in a plane crash in the high Himalayas. With time running out, and rumours of the Abominable Snowman prowling the peaks, it’s a testing time for our fearless young reporter and his friends.
The team behind it have a string of West End successes behind them and the first performance of the show in late 2005 got excellent reviews. So if you’re a fan, it might be worth getting along.