It's a true love effect for Billie's stage debut
21:34 GMT, 2 August 2012
21:36 GMT, 2 August 2012
Piper: Keep taking the tablets
Billie Piper, a former companion of Dr Who, will play a star-crossed lover when she makes her debut at the National Theatre.
The actress will appear opposite Jonjo O’Neill; the pair will play volunteers who meet at a clinic where they’re taking part in a pharmaceutical trial.
They will be joined by Tom Goodman-Hill and Anastasia Hille in Lucy Prebble’s drama The Effect, which Rupert Goold will direct for his Headlong theatre company as a co-production with the National.
‘It’s a got a hint of Romeo And Juliet, in that there are star-crossed lovers, played by Billie and Jonjo, and it’s about how and why people fall in love,’ Goold told me.
Along with showing ‘love at its purest’, Goold said, the play will feature the kind of ‘intellectual fireworks’ that Prebble included in her previous play Enron. Piper was last on stage in Michael Attenborough’s production of Reasons To Be Pretty at the Almeida. ‘She’s got a very contemporary, emotionally real feel about her,’ Goold added.
The Effect will begin performances at the Cottesloe Theatre on November 6. Next, Goold, who won praise recently for directing Richard II in the BBC’s acclaimed Hollow Crown Shakespeare film series, will make his feature film debut directing Jonah Hill and James Franco in a thriller called True Story.
He will then direct Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s musical adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis’s bloody satire American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre in the 2013 autumn season. The show, which like The Effect will be for Headlong, will feature music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik.
Spidey's looking for another London lair
The Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is looking for a home in London, but so far all doors are closed.
It’s not that theatre owners here don’t like the geeky webslinger — it’s just that the show is too big.
Producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris were on a recent scouting trip and visited, among other venues, the Palladium and the Drury Lane.
I should make it clear that, in any case, those theatres aren’t available — even though Spidey wouldn’t zoom in for a couple of years.
Spider-Man spokesman Rick Miramontez said there wasn’t a theatre able to accommodate such an enormous physical production and added: ‘Short of building a theatre, there doesn’t seem to be a solution.’
Unless, of course, they can do a long-term deal with the 02.
Or pay Phil McIntyre a trillion bucks to move We Will Rock You out of the Dominion Theatre.
Stephen Daldry, the cultural czar
overseeing the opening and closing ceremonies for the London Olympics
and Paralympics, will be taking part in When Stephen Met Haile on
Tuesday at 1pm, when he will interview Olympic long-distance superstar
Haile Gebrselassie on stage at the Criterion Theatre, as part of that
theatre’s Playing The Games season.
Some of the actors from Ed Hall’s
gripping production of Chariots Of Fire at the Gielgud — which has had
its own running track installed — are planning to pop over for
Watch out for…
…Louise Dearman who will return to the London production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria from October 29 playing Elphaba, the so-called Wicked Witch of the West.
Ms Dearman played Glinda, the good witch (or so she said . . . we know better) for a long spell until last December.
The producers say this is the first time the same leading lady has played both star roles in Wicked, which all of you in Wicked-land know imagines the origins of the witches from The Wizard Of Oz.
As Idina Menzel, who originated Elphaba here and on Broadway, once told me: ‘Wicked is a plea for understanding and asks you to see the person, not what colour she is.’
Louise Dearman will return to the cast of Wicked but not in her former role of Glinda the Good, but as Elphaba
Heather Headley will play Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard musical at the Adelphi Theatre, played on the silverscreen by Whitney Houston
…Heather Headley who will fly in from Chicago early next month to start rehearsing her role in the musical version of The Bodyguard.
She will take the part of pop diva Rachel Marron (created on the big screen by Whitney Houston) opposite Lloyd Owen as the former Secret Service agent hired to protect her from a stalker.
More from Baz Bamigboye…
BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Freeze up on set Not any more, says red hot Kiera Knightley
BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Why Frances de la Tour is Alan Bennett's People person in new play
Failing Superstar's threat to Theatreland: Concern over the reality show's effect on the West End
Higgins is a fair cop for Dominic: West to star in My Fair Lady
Say You'll Be There: Hannah whips up the Viva fever ahead of Spice Girls musical
Chicago-ing, going, gone: No more of that jazz as hit West End musical close after 15 years
BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Gemma Arterton's sunshine serenade in new movie Song For Marion is simply magical
BAZ BAMIGBOYE: The Stones roll into town for a birthday bash on the 50th anniversary of their first ever gig
VIEW FULL ARCHIVE
Debbie Kurup will play Rachel’s sister Nicki, with other feature parts to be played by Mark Letheren, Ray Shell, Nicolas Colicos and Mark McKerracher, along with Sean Chapman, David Page and Oliver Le Sueur. Director Thea Sharrock, who directed Tom Hiddleston in Henry V on BBC TV, will oversee rehearsals next month for producers Michael Harrison and David Ian.
The show will be packed with numbers associated with Houston including I Will Always Love You. Performances start November 6 at the Adelphi Theatre.
…Tom Bennett, Florence Hall and Marc Pickering, who will lead Kieran Lynn’s play Incident At The Border from the Finborough Theatre, where it’s running until Tuesday, into the Trafalgar Studio 2 from August 20 through September 15.
Lynn’s play looks at what happens when a country’s border is re-drawn . . . right through the middle of a park bench where two lovers are sitting.
It’s directed by Bruce Guthrie, one of Sam Mendes’s legion of former associate directors making their mark on the stage.
…Paul Reid, Rory Keenan, Valerie Lilley and James Hayes, all superb in Lyndsey Turner’s heartfelt production of Brian Friel’s powerful play Philadelphia, Here I Come!, on now at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre.
I recall seeing Friel’s wistful tale, set in an Ireland where fathers and sons can never say what’s on their mind or in their heart, before I’d experienced fatherhood.
It spoke to me in a completely different way this week, now that I’m the father of a hip-hopping lad (all 6ft 8in of him) myself.
At the end of the Donmar run, Keenan will head to the National Theatre, where he’ll appear in Damned By Despair, which begins previews at the Olivier from October 2.
The show will also feature the award-winning Bertie Carvel.