The arts in 1999: Theatre
Sunday 03 January 1999
One film star making her stage debut in Britain this spring is Cate Blanchett. She takes the lead - or the Meryl Streep role if you've seen the movie - in a revival of David Hare's 1978 play Plenty (opens 27 April). Rufus Sewell plays Macbeth in the West End, with Sally Dexter as his wife (opens 3 March), while at the National Theatre Trevor Nunn directs the play of the moment, Troilus and Cressida (opens 15 March), with the same company also doing Leonard Bernstein's Candide (opens April 13). Still on Shakespeare, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse Ian McKellen plays Prospero in The Tempest (opens 2 February), while Northern Broadsides take Twelfth Night on tour starting this month at the Viaduct, Halifax. At the end of the year, in a millennial event that will be worth waiting for, Yukio Ninagawa directs Nigel Hawthorne in King Lear.
After Shang-a-lang, her highly praised comedy at the Bush about three women on a Bay City Rollers nostagia weekend, playwright Catherine Johnson looks well placed to create a musical with Abba songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Mamma Mia! opens on 6 April at the Prince Edward. In Birmingham Simon Callow directs the Richard Adler/Jerry Ross musical Pajama Game with choreography by David Bintley, artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet (previews from 23 April). In the autumn the Disney musical The Lion King arrives from the States, boasting three new songs by Elton John and Tim Rice.
Bing Bong is a new comedy by Keith Waterhouse with Dennis Waterman and Patrick Mower (touring from March). Certain Young Men is Peter Gill's latest with Jeremy Northam about gay men living together and faking straight relationships. It opens at the Almeida on 27 January. Hanif Kureishi has a new play at the Cottesloe titled Sleep With Me. Jonathan Harvey has a new play, Hushabye Mountain, for the English Touring Company.
Theatre de Complicite return with The Street of Crocodiles (opens 19 January at the Queen's). Robert Lepage stages Geometry of Miracles, a devised ensemble work, about Frank Lloyd Wright at the Tramway in Glasgow (30 March-3 April) and at the National (14-24 April). Meanwhile, every where you look you'll find a Noel Coward play. The master was born in 1899.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Touch-screen Teletubbies say hello: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are back, now with smart technology
Black Angel: Long lost Star Wars precursor to be made into crowdfunded feature film
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers