Issuu on Google+

The Ambassador Theatre Group

THE A-LIST ISSUE David Walliams Michael Gambon Kelly Brook Lesley Garrett Marti Pellow Simon Callow HOTLIST! La Cage Aux Folles Life’s little luxuries Creepy! Ghost walks Costume capers

Autumn/Winter 2008 Things to do,people to see

www.theambassadors.com

6

PS! HRH the Prince of Wales celebrates his 60th birthday with We

best

Are Not Amused at the New Wimbledon Theatre - look out for the biggest names in comedy - Robin Williams, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and more. For information 0870 060 6646

of the

Everyone’s going to... Old Billingsgate Market - the London party venue of choice. oldbillingsgate.co.uk

▲ You shall go to the ball! Gareth Gates, Joanna Page and Alistair McGowan in panto at the New Wimbledon Theatre. ▲

Brilliant! Flared candlestick £29.95 conranshop.co.uk

▲ Frocks to die for and a drastic lifestyle change in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse this Autumn - Douglas Hodge and Denis Lawson as you’ve never seen them before.

Kelly Brook makes her West End debut alongside Kevin Bishop (Channel 4’s The Kevin Bishop Show) in Neil LaBute’s searing comedy Fat Pig at the Comedy Theatre fatpigtheplay.com

The Ambassador Theatre Group

2 1 3

1 Lesley Garrett, Carousel 2 Marti Pellow, The Witches of Eastwick 3 Prêt-à-Portea

Dream or Nightmare?

1

Riffs and Redemption

Into the dark with David

A new creative partnership

Walliams and Michael Gambon

at the Trafalgar Studios

9

Let There Be Rock Picture This

Mixing It

3

14

A fab first night

What’s On In London

11

Competition

12

15

A luxury private view

Lesley Garrett - on nuns and loose women

Pellow Talk

5

La Cage Aux Folles

days out this season

High Honours It’s panto time!

17

Ghosts, galleries and celebrity gossip - the best

Hellishly good - Marti Pellow

Villains and Velcro

Such a Perfect Day

7

13

Accolades for the Ambassador Group

AMBASSADOR GROUP PRODUCTIONS

AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP REGIONAL THEATRES Theatre Royal Brighton 08700 606 650 Churchill Theatre Bromley 0870 060 6620 Kings Theatre Glasgow 0870 060 6648 Theatre Royal Glasgow 0870 060 6647 Milton Keynes Theatre 0870 060 6652 Richmond Theatre 0870 060 6651 Regent Theatre & Victoria Hall Stoke-on-Trent 0870 060 6649 New Wimbledon Theatre & New Wimbledon Studio 0870 060 6646 Ambassadors Cinemas Woking 01483 545945 New Victoria Theatre & Rhoda McGaw Theatre Woking 0870 060 6645 Online booking at www.theambassadors.com Jessamy Hadley Editor Pat Westwell, Benedict Nightingale, Mark Shenton, Al Senter, Victoria Kingston, Jasper Rees, Kirsty Woodfield, Mark Bouman, Neena Dhillon, David Bradbury Contributors SWD Design and Art Direction John Good Print The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd 39 - 41 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H OAR

The views expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd.

Cover photography courtesy of Rex Features

AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP LONDON THEATRES Comedy Theatre 0870 060 6637 Donmar Warehouse 0870 060 6624 Duke of York’s Theatre 0870 060 6623 Fortune Theatre 0870 060 6626 Phoenix Theatre 0870 060 6629 Piccadilly Theatre 0844 412 6666 Playhouse Theatre 0870 060 6631 Savoy Theatre 0870 164 8787 Trafalgar Studios 0870 060 6632

Interview

Dream or Nightmare? Discovering the power of Pinter’s No Man’s Land

Michael Gambon plays the rich,

seems to me to have been born

stay. ‘In recent years I’ve had the

reclusive, alcoholic writer Hirst

to play the part of Spooner in

good fortune to play Max in The

in Rupert Goold’s revival of

what the actor himself describes

Homecoming and Davies in The

Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land

as Pinter’s masterpiece, a poetic,

Caretaker,’ says Bradley. ‘While

at the Duke of York’s, and David

multi-levelled play that’s ‘the

there are echoes of Davies in

Walliams is one of the two

funniest and bleakest I’ve ever

Spooner, both being outsiders

thuggish servants who jealously

worked on.’

down on their luck trying to

guard him, his privacy and his

Feature by Benedict Nightingale Photography by 1

Jeremy Whelehan

So who is Spooner? He’s the

get a foot in the door, Spooner

drinks cabinet. But maybe the

shabby poet and opportunist

is educated and sees himself

most rewarding role in the play

whom Hirst has picked up in

as Hirst’s intellectual equal but

goes to an actor who is less of

a Hampstead pub and, to the

without the wealth and fame.’

a household name than either

consternation of those protective

but has long been one of my

heavies, brought back to his

John Gielgud opposite Ralph

personal favourites. And with

mansion for what Spooner

Richardson’s Hirst back in 1975:

his thin, ravaged, beaky, faintly

clearly hopes will be an

a performance that some of us

vulturous features, David Bradley

indefinite and highly profitable

(including, it was said, a relieved

The role was first played by

Gielgud) saw as proof that the

voice he, like Bradley, had me

great classical actor could bring

reaching for avian parallels.

a quirky contemporary character to life. I can see Gielgud still. There

No Man’s Land presents us with the sort of subtle, surreptitious battle familiar

he is - the sort of ragbag

to every admirer of our Nobel

bohemian one could sometimes

laureate, Harold Pinter. In his

see padding across Hampstead

work intruders are constantly

Heath, his head full of memories

appearing from nowhere and

of little magazines and the

doing what they can to secure

Spanish Civil War. And, drawing

territory, power, dominance.

on his observations of the poet

But this time the intrusion takes

W.H. Auden, Sir John filled out

a stranger form, for Hirst is

this picture with tiny, mordant

marooned in a ‘no man’s land’

touches, signalling truculence

in which nothing seems real but

or preciosity or pique.

the happy times he had long ago,

It was a terrific performance,

and Spooner’s ruse is to enter

but one that came close to being

the old toper’s head, playing

matched by Paul Eddington who

with his memories, sharing his

played Spooner opposite Pinter

fantasies, manipulating him as

himself in 1992. Eddington,

foxily as he can and, he hopes,

coming as he did with a bow-tie,

taking control of his household.

a suit that had seen better days

‘Doing Harold’s plays you feel safe. They are so well made, solid and deep. You could find all sorts of quite legitimate subtexts within them.’ Michael Gambon

But naturally Hirst’s servants

and the nervous, defensive look

have interests of their own and

of a man who had just been

aren’t too enthralled by

drummed out of the Garrick

Spooner’s self-serving games.

Club for failing to pay his dues,

Yet here too things aren’t simple

was posher than Gielgud but no

or straightforward. As Walliams

less predatory. With his beady,

says, ‘Pinter’s trusting of the

darting eyes and prim, wailing

subconscious means that his

plays are like dreams or rather nightmares.’ Indeed, I can’t think of a better example of Pinter’s characters’ habit of not quite saying what they mean, or meaning what they say, than the now-famous Bolsover Street speech. Without warning, Nick Dunning’s Briggs launches into a seemingly irrelevant description of the one-way system around London’s Post Office Tower and, of Bolsover Street in particular. You can get into it, he says, but it’s so intricate and confusing you can’t get out: ‘There are people who’ve been wandering up and down Bolsover Street for years, they’ve wasted their bloody youth there.’ And does Spooner get the

Duke of York’s Theatre

not-so-hidden message, that

No Man’s Land

he’s blundered into a situation too tricky and dangerous for him to handle? If you don’t

‘Performing the play on the first night in Dublin, in front of Harold Pinter, was the most terrifying but thrilling moment of my life.’ David Walliams

know the answer, it’s waiting for you at the Duke of York’s.

By Harold Pinter Directed by Rupert Goold Starring Michael Gambon, David Bradley, David Walliams and Nick Dunning Box Office 0870 060 6623 Online booking at www.theambassadors.com 2

Interview

Mixing It For Lesley Garrett, variety is the spice of life!

Interview by Mark Shenton Photography by 3

Simon Fowler

‘It’s a very natural and easy thing

equally at home juggling live

Music at the London Palladium;

for me to do musicals,’ says

opera performances, concert

‘There was a moment when I was

Lesley Garrett, who first came

appearances and musicals,

a loose woman and a nun at the

to prominence as a principal

recording best-selling solo CDs

same time - that was particularly

soprano at English National

or presenting a weekly opera

diverse even by my standards!’

Opera in the mid-80s, and was

programme on Classic FM. She

awarded a CBE in the 2002 New

has also appeared on TV shows

returning to musicals with

Year’s Honours List for services

like Strictly Come Dancing and

Carousel, and finds that it is full

to music. ‘There are lots of lovely

Loose Women, and last year

of personal resonances. ‘What

roles for more mature singers in

presented the BBC1 TV series

I have in Nettie Fowler is the

musical theatre, which I’m not

Christmas Voices, which has been

richest, most wonderful

necessarily finding the

re-commissioned for this year’s

character, someone that is clearly

opportunity to do in opera.’

festive season.

the matriarch of the whole

Lesley Garrett is firmly

Two years ago she took on

She is looking forward to

community - looking after,

established as Britain’s most

her first musical role, playing the

feeding, supporting, nurturing

popular and eclectic soprano,

Mother Abbess in The Sound of

and loving all the people in it,

and that’s exactly where I am in

it was a lovely day. Music was

proving a joyful release. ‘For

my own life. This is the perfect

always in and around the house:

me this is the musical’s musical.

role for me at this time - I’m a

When I was a kid we sang

I think it’s the greatest musical

mother (she has two children,

everything around the piano -

Rodgers and Hammerstein ever

a son aged 15 and a daughter

operas and musicals and hymns

wrote - it was certainly Rodgers’

aged 14), my husband is a doctor,

and folk music.’

absolute favourite. And I’m

and we are very much part of

She’s carried those eclectic

attracted to it because of its

the community in North London

influences into her career.

darkness - it is almost operatic

where we live. I also have a huge

‘What I love to do is to mix it

in that respect. People tend to

family in Yorkshire, and still go

all up, not just for myself, but

associate musicals with lighter

back up there regularly.’

for the public, too’, she points

subjects - it’s unusual for them

out. But though she juggles

to have such incredibly dark

other link to Carousel. ‘I feel very

a wide range of jobs and

and profound meaning. And the

drawn to this show because of

disciplines, she doesn’t like

music is just heavenly too - it has

my own background. Carousel is

the term ‘cross-over artist’.

some of their very best songs.

And Yorkshire provides the

set amongst a small community

‘That sounds like a bra!’ she

June is Bustin’ Out All Over is

and deals with the interplay

jokes. ‘Because I grew up with

just fabulously funny - and then

between the very diverse

it all, I don’t know what I’m

I have to sing this icon of a song,

characters there. I come from

crossing over from or to. It was

You’ll Never Walk Alone, which

Carousel is set amongst a small community and deals with the interplay between the very diverse characters there. I come from a very close-knit industrial community, just like the world that Carousel is set in. In the show it is cotton mills and fishing; with me it was the pits and steelworks and the railways.

has an almost hymn-like status.’

a very close-knit industrial

the Three Tenors who turned

community, just like the world

me onto the idea that I could

The latter appears on her

that Carousel is set in. In the

entertain with classical music,

latest album, Amazing Grace,

show it is cotton mills and

reach a bigger audience with

due out in November. She says

fishing; with me it was the pits

it and introduce people to

proudly, ‘I’m so thrilled about

and steelworks and the railways.’

the classical technique. I’m a

it - I’ve gone right back to my

classically trained opera singer

classical roots, and it’s almost

another reason: ‘The way that

and I always will be - I can’t un-

entirely classical, apart from the

they make music spontaneously

invent that wheel. But the idea

title song and You’ll Never Walk

in Maine is exactly the way we

that I can be flexible and

Alone, so I hope that people who

made music when I was a child.

versatile with that instrument

come to see Carousel will go off

I can remember vividly that my

and technique is something

and buy it, and be introduced

mum and dad would sing Oh

that I find very exciting.’

to composers and music that

But Carousel is resonant for

What A Beautiful Morning when

Applying it to Carousel is

Lesley Garrett and Carol McGiffin presenting Loose Women Connie Fisher and Lesley Garrett in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium

they’ve never heard before.’

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s

Carousel Starring Lesley Garrett Milton Keynes Theatre 13 - 18 Oct 2008 Box Office 0870 060 6652

New Victoria Theatre, Woking 20 - 25 Oct 2008 Box Office 0870 060 6645

New Wimbledon Theatre 3 - 8 Nov 2008 Box Office 0870 060 6646

Savoy Theatre From 22 Nov 2008 Box Office 0870 164 8787 Online booking at www.theambassadors.com 4

Interview

Pellow Talk Marti Pellow plays the demonic Daryl van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick

Playing the Devil cannot be an

seasoned rock star to be at ease

No.1 in fifteen countries and

easy task, especially when you’re

on the stage but you might be

had a virtually unprecedented

shorn of the traditional horns

surprised by the inventiveness

fifteen week reign at the summit

and forked tail. Marti Pellow’s

and the discipline of the

of the UK charts. After the band

Old Nick in The Witches of

characterisation.

went their separate ways, Marti

Eastwick has a dash of Presley

Interview by Al Senter Photography by 5

Robert Workman

Marti Pellow first came to

established himself as a solo

in his pelvic thrusts, a hint of

public attention as the lead

artist and a songwriter - and

Travolta in the sharp-suited ease

vocalist and frontman for Wet

now that Wet Wet Wet have

with which he glides across the

Wet Wet, one of the leading

reformed, there is yet another

stage and a soupçon of Carrey

bands of the 1980s and 1990s

outlet for Marti’s boundless

in his sometimes zany delivery.

who racked up a total of twelve

creative energies.

This Daryl van Horne is a Lord

Top Ten hits including three that

of Misrule, a capering bundle

clinched the top spot. Their

as he appears on stage. There

of mischief. Oozing sexual allure,

version of Love Is All Around,

is an urgency about him that

Marti goes to his work with

heard on the soundtrack of Four

is almost febrile. He’s an

relish. You’d expect such a

Weddings and a Funeral, was

unashamed enthusiast with a

In person, Marti is as dynamic

Marti is, of course, not the first

sharp and wide-ranging

Daryl thinks of himself as a

intelligence. Initially wary, he

cultured man, he’s something of

performer to tangle with Daryl

relaxes into a kind of blokeish

a SoHo Sammy, a Diamond Jack

van Horne. Updike’s devilish Don

intimacy as he reflects on the

and it’s part of his plan that in

Juan could have been written for

sequence of events that have

seducing the three Witches, he’s

Jack Nicholson who played Daryl

brought him to playing Daryl van

helping them realise their true

in the 1987 film.

Horne in The Witches of Eastwick.

potential.’

‘Before this, playing Billy

‘It’s fortunate that I haven’t

What’s evident from Marti’s

seen the movie and I’ve

Flynn in Chicago was my only

packed CV is his restlessness, a

deliberately steered clear of it’

experience of doing a musical.

pleasurable mixing and matching

says Marti. ‘Of course, you have

That was five years ago and I’d

of different musical genres. You

to keep your imagination open

had such a good time doing it

sense that he’s always open to

but at the same time you mustn’t

that I wanted to return to the

suggestions and ripe for new

allow it to be influenced by

musical theatre. Since then, I’ve

creative experiences. Had the

powerful images from outside.

been looking for something that

move into the musical theatre

In acting, you try to work with

would strike me as being a bit

been part of a long-established

people, as in this production,

special.’ When Marti saw a

plan?

who help you raise your game.’

production of The Witches of

‘Hell no!’ exclaims Marti. ‘I

Marti certainly seems to

Eastwick in Washington, he felt

was performing in concert at

have found his metier in the

that his five year quest could

the Royal Albert Hall and in the

character of Daryl van Horne. ‘I

well be at an end.

audience was not only Ruthie

love the way he manipulates the

women, how he plays on their

I liked the whole idea of the character who mysteriously descends upon Eastwick, this suburban town in the 1950s, and who undermines their cosy white picket fence existence. It’s like an episode of The Twilight Zone.

vulnerability and how things get really dark.’ Meanwhile, Marti is working on his own musical, an intriguing project set in the gangland Soho of the 1950s And further acting roles, both musical and nonmusical, must be a distinct possibility, as is a move into film.

Henshall but also a couple of

No less a figure than Robert de

and I could see that it would be

Chicago producers. I met Ruthie

Niro asked to meet him when

a real challenge to play Daryl’

after the show and she

casting his spy film The Good

says Marti. ‘I liked the whole idea

suggested that I should think

Shepherd. Nothing came from

of the character who mysteriously

about doing a musical.’ Then I

this encounter but Marti is not

descends upon Eastwick, this

was approached with the offer

discouraged.

suburban town in the 1950s, and

of Billy Flynn in Chicago. Now

who undermines their cosy white

sleazy lawyers aren’t exactly

possibilities: it’s about not being

picket fence existence. It’s like

unknown to me and I felt that

afraid to fall flat on your face:

an episode of The Twilight Zone.

I understood him well enough

it’s about putting yourself on the

to play him.’

line. It’s about saying - let’s do it!’

‘It engaged my imagination

‘It’s about being alive to all the

Marti Pellow stars in

The Witches of Eastwick A hell of a musical New Victoria Theatre, Woking 28 Oct - 1 Nov 2008 Box Office 0870 060 6645

Milton Keynes Theatre 23 - 28 Feb 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6652 Online booking at www.theambassadors.com 6

Backstage

Villains and Velcro Secrets of the dressing room with Simon Callow and Eric Potts

Interview by 7

Victoria Kingston

‘I had a conversation with Sir

think that this season, one of

having played the Dame for the

Ian McKellen, who played Hook

the country’s greatest actors

past fourteen seasons - and this

at the National Theatre,’ Simon

will be got up in fine coat and

year flamboyantly filling the

Callow muses over coffee at

ruffled shirt, boots and long

stage at Woking as Widow

Richmond Theatre. ‘He said

black wig, brandishing a rather

Twankey alongside Bradley

‘Don’t play Hook - it’s a terrible

terrifying hook. With malevolent

Walsh in Aladdin. He agrees with

part. You have to play Mr

laugh and vengeance in his soul,

Simon about the participation.

Darling as well - and there’s all

he will pursue Peter Pan (Bonnie

‘I love to see children who are so

that sword fighting and they boo

Langford) across the world.

cynical normally, so blasé because

you constantly.’ And I said - well,

‘He wants to kill Peter. It’s that

they’re used to computer

that’s rather the point. I like all

simple,’ says Simon. ‘Peter is,

technology, virtual this and that -

that - the costumes and the

after all, the reason why he

and when the curtain goes up,

participation. He said, ‘Well, it’s

has the hook. You can’t expect

they become totally immersed

not why I came into the theatre.’

Hook to like him.’

in the fantasy. They will boo the

Simon laughs his deep, mellow laugh - and it’s wonderful to

With us is actor Eric Potts,

baddie until their throats hurt.

a true veteran of pantomime,

All these modern techno things

fall away and they are children

however. Eric has nine costume

expect is a little bout of eczema.

again. I like that.’

changes, which are done at top

That’s as bad as it will get.

speed. ‘I have a brilliant woman

I hope!’

At the heart of pantomime

With his nine costume changes,

is the strange custom that the

waiting in the wings,’ he explains.

lead characters engage in cross-

‘We work as a team and she

Eric simply isn’t impressed. He

dressing. ‘The tradition of

knows when I’m going to put

waves this away breezily. ‘You

women playing the young male

out my arm and she has the

know, Simon, all that’s needed

lead and men playing dames is a

sleeve ready. We think as one,

here is a good hand cream.

very fascinating part of this mad,

which makes a huge difference

Nothing more.’

English tradition of pantomime,’

when you’ve only got twenty

Simon comments. ‘And foreigners

seconds. It’s all down to a

Theatre Royal, Brighton

don’t really understand it.

good dresser and Velcro.’

Wizard of Oz

Originally, boys would have

It’s hot on stage under

Sponsored by

5 Dec 2008 - 4 Jan 2009

played the lead in pantomimes -

those coveted spotlights -

Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Peter

and the costumes and make-

Pan and so on. The cross-dressing

up of both Hook and Widow

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

factor - these parts being taken

Twankey are thick and

by young women, came about

cumbersome. ‘The wigs are so

Aladdin

only in the Victorian era - just to

heavy,’ says Eric with feeling.

get the thighs on stage! That

‘So are the dresses. But once

Box Office 08700 606 650

Starring Bradley Walsh, Eric Potts and Eloise Irving 5 Dec 2008 - 18 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6645

I love to see children who are so cynical normally, so blasé because they’re used to computer technology, virtual this and that - but when the curtain goes up, they become totally immersed in the fantasy.

Milton Keynes Theatre

Peter Pan Starring Henry Winkler and Andy Ford

was the motive there. Of course,

you know the routine,

they would be quite comely

your body doesn’t make

women! Nowadays, these parts

as much adrenalin and

are played by actresses who

you don’t sweat as

are very slight of build - and

much even though

wonderful dancers - like Bonnie.’

you are running

The reverse is true of the actor playing the Dame, because it’s

around.’ ‘It’s very hot

5 Dec 2008 - 18 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6652

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Cinderella Starring Steve Guttenberg and Helen Lederer 5 Dec 2008 - 18 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6620

New Wimbledon Theatre

his job to look as grotesque

inside Hook’s

Cinderella

and ridiculous as he can - and

costume,’ says Simon.

Starring Gareth Gates, Joanna

sexy legs don’t come into it. ‘It’s

‘And especially the

Page and Alistair McGowan

really a shame because I have

sleeve with the hook.

5 Dec 2008 -18 Jan 2009

wonderful thighs,’ Eric asserts.

You have to hold on to it

Box Office 0870 060 6646

‘I don’t suppose they’d ever cast

from the inside. It’s metal,

me as Peter - there’s no harness

tin - so it’s sweaty. When

Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

strong enough to hold me. But

your hand finally emerges

Snow White

they didn’t even ask. That’s what

from the sleeve after the

Starring Jonathan Wilkes

hurts.’ We laugh sympathetically.

show, you feel it will be

and Claire Sweeney

‘But I like being the Dame.’ he

a horrid, shrivelled thing.

11 Dec 2008 -11 Jan 2009

adds. ‘I like her to be cuddly

Of course, it’s not as bad

Box Office 0870 060 6649

and kind - no child should ever

as the strapped-up leg

be afraid of her. They should

when you’re playing Long

Kings Theatre, Glasgow

feel safe with her. It’s a balance -

John Silver. That can be

the evil villain, the cuddly Dame

really serious, because

Cinderella

and the lovely Principal Boy.

it’s strapped behind you

Our costumes reflect that.’

and the blood stops

This dressing up has its problems for the actors,

flowing. With the hook, I suppose the most I can

Starring Gerard Kelly, Karen Dunbar and Andy Gray 28 Nov 2008 - 11 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6648

Richmond Theatre Supporting the Theatres for Theatres Appeal in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital www.gosh.org © 2007 Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Registered charity no 235825

Peter Pan Starring Simon Callow and Bonnie Langford 5 Dec 2008 - 11 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6651

8

Backstage

Riffs and Redemption Back on the road with Riflemind

In terms of human interaction,

then every night go out onstage

cost of making music are thin

a theatre company and a rock

with them, until ‘creative

on the ground. The sex, the

band have almost nothing in

differences’ take their toll and

drugs, the gradual ruination of

common. Yes, they both involve

the band atomises. Some time

the guitar-based friendships of

collective performance on a

later, needing the money and,

youth, the cauterising of the soul

stage in front of an audience,

armed with the hope that

by untold wealth - these are the

but there all similarities end.

enough calming water has

things that the Greeks would

A play calls for a gathering

flowed under the bridge,

have contemplated in their

of collaborators who, however

you reunite.

tragedies if only the Fender

intense the personal tensions,

Feature by Jasper Rees

9

It’s remarkable there aren’t

Stratocaster had been invented in time.

know that at the end of the run

more stage plays about rock.

they will disperse to the four

There are countless back-

winds, perhaps never to meet

catalogue musicals, but they’re

Riflemind, which was staged by

Andrew Upton’s new play,

again. In a rock band, you

part of an ageing pop act’s

Philip Seymour Hoffman last year

Photography by

hunker down in the studio for

corporate brand these days.

in Sydney and under the same

Kerry Brown

months with the same people,

Actual plays about the human

director has now come to the

Creative sparks flew at the Trafalgar Studios as a new cultural exchange was announced. Sydney Theatre Company (whose co-artistic directors are playwright Andrew Upton and actress Cate Blanchett) and LABrinth Theater Company from New York (whose artistic directors include Philip Seymour Hoffman) will become Associate Companies of this groundbreaking venue, presenting writers and actors from both companies whose work is new or rarely seen in London. The first production from this new association is Riflemind and the recent Trafalgar Studios Top Row: Meryl Faiers Tali Pelman Cate Blanchett Rosemary Squire Rob Brookman John Gould Rubin

sell-out Elling will have its

Bottom Row: Howard Panter Andrew Upton Philip Seymour Hoffman

Australian premiere in 2009.

Trafalgar Studios, is a rarity. The

prey to the public’s fickle taste.

down to a combination of

band in Upton’s play is thinking

In pop, a song can accusingly

amphetamines, homosexuality

about going back on the road,

stick around in the ether long

and the Beatles.

and gathers in the stately English

after the band who recorded it

mansion of its most recalcitrant

have slumped from their creative

reason why there have been so

member to mull over the

and commercial peak.

few plays about the cohesion

options.

The other pleasure about the

Talking of whom, there’s a

and antagonism within great

rock play is trying to guess, as

British bands. And that reason

catastrophe, but then a play

with Spinal Tap, who it’s based

is copyright. Two years ago

about a well adjusted rock band

on. In Riflemind, John Hannah,

Nottingham Playhouse staged

Needless to say, it’s a

The White Album, a play about

The sex, the drugs, the gradual ruination of the guitar-based friendships of youth, the cauterising of the soul by untold wealth - these are the things that the Greeks would have contemplated in their tragedies if only the Fender Stratocaster had been invented in time.

one Beatlemaniac’s obsessive identification with the manysplendoured 1968 recording. The legal requirement was that the production could not use any of the songs on the album as part of the action of the play, but were allowed to get away with recognisable copies. Actual Beatles music could only be used

which carefully re-forms and

who inherits the role of the lead

as bridges between scenes or

meticulously rakes in potloads

guitarist from Hugo Weaving,

as underscoring.

of moolah - like Take That or

thinks he’s spotted a similarity

The Eagles - does not make

in the play’s internal combustions

been a better play about

for drama.

with those of the Reid brothers

rock’n’roll than Rock’n’Roll. It

from the Jesus and Mary Chain.

being the work of Tom Stoppard,

Riflemind while attending a

‘I think there’s some of the Reids

there isn’t a single rock star in it.

Trafalgar Studios 1

series of concerts in London

in Riflemind,’ he says. ‘And bits

As for Riflemind, it has rock stars,

featuring bands including the

of Nirvana. Bands that are close

not as we prefer to think of

Riflemind

Stooges who re-formed to play

always have tension.’

them, bestriding the public stage

Upton first had the idea for

classic LPs. ‘It’s something I’ve

There was no such confusion

Of course there has never

like colossal poets of the age,

been thinking about for years:

in Telstar, in which Nick Moran

but as humans at the mercy of

how can you have any kind of

and James Hicks crafted a

their own moral fragility. That

longevity in a career in the arts?

terrifically detailed drama about

of course is where the playwright

Everyone has a moment when

the forces which drove early 60s

comes in.

they’re at their best.’

record producer Joe Meek to

That’s just another way in

shoot his landlady and then

which theatre differs. A theatre

himself. The problem, as those

production may vanish in a puff

who see the film when it’s

of smoke, but careers are not

released will discover, boils

By Andrew Upton Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman Cast includes John Hannah Booking until 3 Jan 2009 Box Office 0871 297 5461 It’s cheaper to book online www.theambassadors.com 10

What’s What’s OnOn

C

Buy West End tickets with the Ambassador Group COMEDY THEATRE 0870 060 6637

PLAYHOUSE THEATRE 0870 060 6631

Fat Pig

La Cage Aux Folles

A new comedy

The smash hit musical from

Written and directed by Neil LaBute

The Menier Chocolate Factory

Starring Kevin Bishop, Kelly Brook,

Starring Douglas Hodge

Nicholas Burns and Katie Kerr

and Denis Lawson

‘Waves of laughter’ Evening Standard

DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE 0870 060 6623

SAVOY THEATRE 0870 164 8787

No Man’s Land

Never Forget

By Harold Pinter

This great big romantic comedy of

Starring Michael Gambon,

a musical is the ultimate feel-good

David Bradley, David Walliams

night out! Featuring your favourite

and Nick Dunning

Take That hits - Could It Be Magic, Relight My Fire and Never Forget

DONMAR WAREHOUSE 0870 060 6624

SAVOY THEATRE 0870 164 8787

Creditors

Carousel

By Strindberg

By Rodgers and Hammerstein

In a new version by David Greig

Starring Lesley Garrett From 22 November 2008

FORTUNE THEATRE 0870 060 6626

TRAFALGAR STUDIO 1 0870 060 6632

The Woman in Black

Riflemind

‘A brilliant spine-chiller’

By Andrew Upton

The Guardian

Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman Cast includes John Hannah

★★★★

‘Superb - right on target’ London Lite

OLD VIC 0870 060 6628

TRAFALGAR STUDIO 2 0870 060 6632

The Norman Conquests

Potted Potter

Table Manners, Living Together, Round & Round The Garden By Alan Ayckbourn

THE UNAUTHORISED HARRY EXPERIENCE - A PARODY BY DAN AND JEFF

Cast includes Amelia Bullmore,

Studio 2 has been made possible

Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan,

by a generous donation

Ben Miles and Paul Ritter

from Christina Smith

PHOENIX THEATRE 0870 060 6629

APOLLO VICTORIA 0870 060 6615

Willy Russell’s

Rain Man

Blood Brothers ‘Brings the audience to its

Starring Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley

feet and roaring its approval’ Daily Mail

PICCADILLY THEATRE 0844 412 6666

SHAFTESBURY THEATRE 0870 060 6615

Grease

Hairspray

Starring X Factor’s Ray Quinn London’s high octane rock’n’roll party - it’s electrifying!

11

C - it’s cheaper to book online

Starring Michael Ball ‘The musical with everything. A triumph!’ Observer

Book your tickets online at www.theambassadors.com

Win a fabulous night out in London’s West End!

Competition

AUX FOLLES

Playhouse Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles Starring Douglas Hodge and Denis Lawson 20 Oct 2008 - 10 Jan 2009 Box Office 0870 060 6631

The sell-out Menier Chocolate

artiste Albin, star of the La Cage

Factory production of La Cage

Aux Folles club, is threatened

deliciously funny tale of family

Aux Folles, transfers to the

when Georges’ son announces

values, unconditional love, and

Playhouse Theatre this Autumn

his engagement to the daughter

above all, the need to be proud

and we have tickets to give away

of a right-wing politician. With a

of who we are.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

- the perfect opportunity for a

visit from the prospective in-laws

To win a pair of tickets, simply

Two winners will be drawn at

dazzling night out in London’s

imminent, they decide to make a

answer the following question:

random after the closing date.

West End.

drastic lifestyle change... but can

Don’t miss this timeless and

Each prize includes a pair of tickets for La Cage Aux Folles

they keep it up?

Q: Who wrote the score for

Dolls, Titus Andronicus) stars

La Cage Aux Folles premiered on

La Cage Aux Folles?

as cross-dressing cabaret artiste

Broadway in 1983, where it won

Albin and Denis Lawson (TV’s

six Tony Awards and became the

Please return your answer, not

by Friday 7 November 2008.

Bleak House and Holby City)

biggest new American musical

forgetting your name, address

Prize is non-transferable and

plays Georges, owner of the

of the decade. Jerry Herman’s

and telephone number to Vicky

non-redeemable for a cash

La Cage Aux Folles nightclub

fabulous score includes the

Brown, The Ambassador Theatre

in this comic classic.

anthem I Am What I Am, The

Group Ltd. 24 Neal Street,

to employees of Ambassador

Best of Times and Song on

London WC2H 9QW before

Theatre Group Ltd. Editor’s

the Sand.

Monday 3 November 2008.

decision is final.

Douglas Hodge (Guys and

The idyllic existence of Georges and the colourful drag

at the Playhouse Theatre, London (Monday - Thursday performances only). Winners will be notified

value. Prize must be taken by 18 December 2008. Not open

12

News (L-R) Helen Enright (Finance and Commerical Director ATG), Lewis Miller (Senior Manager at Ernst & Young), Rosemary Squire (Joint Chief Executive ATG) and Michael Lynas (Executive Director ATG) (Below) Rosemary Squire OBE

High Honours Recognition for the Ambassador Group’s pioneering work across the UK There was recognition in the

funding for capital improvements

Honours List for the work that

to protect the long-term future

goes on behind the scenes in

of London’s historic theatres.

the theatre industry as Rosemary

and privilege for me to receive

CEO of The Ambassador Theatre

this award at Buckingham Palace

Group Ltd, received an Order

today,’ said Rosemary ‘and to

of the British Empire medal

have my family here with me

from the Prince of Wales at

makes the occasion very special

Buckingham Palace.

indeed. I’m extremely proud of

An influential figure in the

the pioneering work that ATG

arts, Rosemary was appointed

has achieved over the past 15

an Officer of the Order of the

years and it is wonderful that

British Empire for Services to

the company and the industry

Theatre.

have been recognised in

As Co-founder of ATG, Rosemary has spearheaded the company’s exponential growth. A member of the Theatrical Management Association and a board member of Dance Umbrella, the UK’s foremost international contemporary dance festival, Rosemary

this way.’ In addition, September saw Joint CEO’s of the Ambassador Theatre Group Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire short-listed as Regional Finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards 2008. The Award recognises

was also the first

leadership and the

democratically elected

accomplishments of a business.

President of the Society

Selection criteria include

of London Theatre and

entrepreneurial spirit,

only the second female

innovation, strategic direction,

President in the

leading and building teams,

organisation’s 100-year history.

financial performance and

As President, Rosemary has

national and global impact.

campaigned fiercely to improve the West End theatre-going 13

‘It is a tremendous honour

Squire, Co-founder and Joint

environment and to secure vital

Paul Hilton Ruth Gemmell Susan Prior John Hannah

Emilia Fox Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton

Nick Rhodes Eddie Marsan Imogen Lloyd Webber Photography by Dan Wooler

Let there be Rock Rock’n’roll and raspberry martinis - at the Riflemind first night party With enormous saltwater

night of Andrew Upton’s play

Trafalgar Studios but also an

to see work that is new or

aquariums, futuristic chrome

Riflemind about friendship, rock

exciting creative association.

rarely seen in London. The

and glass, martinis and raspberry

and second chances. Guests

vodka - it couldn’t have been

including Emilia Fox, Imogen

actors from LABrinth Theater

association is Riflemind - and

more rock and roll. A stone’s

Lloyd Webber and Nick Rhodes

Company, New York and the

judging from the excited

throw from theatreland in the

(Duran Duran) joined film star

Sydney Theatre Company - now

conversation at the opening

sophisticated setting of the

Cate Blanchett and writer

Associate Companies of the

night - this artistic collaboration

glass-fronted Kingly Club, guests

Andrew Upton to mark both the

Trafalgar Studios - this cultural

is already making waves.

gathered to celebrate the first

opening night of the play at the

exchange will enable audiences

Bringing together writers and

first production from the new

14

Style

Picture This... Picture-perfect luxuries for winter (Top row l-r) Sportmax ovatte belt £145

Orla Kiely claret/red zip wallet

at LilliDiva 020 7801 9600

020 7487 3001

Lejaby bra £50 Lejaby briefs £39

Pewter metallic fabric shoe £119 Pewter clutch bag £69

at Amélie’s Follies 020 7924 3826

Willow cashmere cape with kimono sleeve £159 willowcashmere.com White cream camisole £75 at Selfridges 0800 123 400

Matina Amanita landmark ring The London Arms

£149 at Shoon, Marylebone

at Olivier’s Lounge (as before)

E.Coudray - Esperys - huile parfumée pour le corps £35 at Fortnum and Mason, 020 7734 8040 fortnumandmason.com

The White Company cassis candle

£590 at Kabiri, 020 7224 1808

15

£16 thewhitecompany.com

(Middle row l-r) ABRO mock-croc handbag £265

(Bottom row l-r) ‘App-Art a` louer’ necklace Manhattan purple

at Olivier’s Lounge, 020 7924 4321

£120 at LilliDiva (as before)

£26 conranshop.co.uk

All prices quoted are given as a guide only and may be subject to change by individual retailers

Paola Navone expresso cup and saucer

Feature by Mark Bouman Photography by Shaun Webb 16

Going Out

Such a Perfect Day Three thrilling themes to try this Autumn

Tower of London hrp.org.uk/toweroflondon/ The Viaduct Tavern

given rise to its status as one

can make it challenging to

of the most haunted locations in

navigate the city and enjoy a

Britain. Arrive first thing and join

proceedings on Fridays or

satisfying day out. But with such

one of the insightful tours led by

Saturdays is to book a Haunted

a rich tapestry of places waiting

a Yeoman Warder or ‘Beefeater’.

London Tour with Richard Jones,

to be discovered, you can be sure

Ask to be shown where the

author of 14 best-selling ghostly

that the big smoke will keep you

ghosts of Anne Boleyn and the

books. An authority on the

entertained whatever your taste

Little Princes lurk and visit the

subject, he offers atmospheric

or interest. So, whether it’s pure

Salt Tower. It’s rumoured to be

Hidden Horrors and Alleyways

relaxation or a dose of culture

the most haunted part of the

and Shadows walking tours.

that you’re after, here’s a guide

site, with dogs and warders

to three activity-filled days with

alike unwilling to enter it

a seasonal twist.

after nightfall.

Haunted Capital

at The Viaduct Tavern near St

There’s no better place to begin

Paul’s Cathedral. Once the site

exploring London’s colourful

of a small debtor’s prison and

heritage of gruesome deeds and

later a Victorian gin palace, this

devilish ghost stories than in the

pub has preserved many of its

020 7600 1863 Bleeding Heart Bistro bleedingheart.co.uk Haunted London Tour london-ghost-walk.co.uk

historical features, including one

visitbankside.com

of the original cells. A short walk through Holborn brings you into

Fortnum and Mason

theatreland where the intimate

fortnumandmason.com Somerset House somersethouse.org.uk St James’ Hotel and Club

elemis.com The Berkeley 17

the-berkeley.co.uk

Festive Fun

a matinée performance of the

In the tradition of Frost Fairs

spine-tingling The Woman

that used to take place on a

in Black.

frozen River Thames between the 17th and early 19th centuries,

stop for an early supper at the

the Bankside Winter Festival

Bleeding Heart Bistro in

returns this year for 10 days

Farringdon. Hidden away in a

starting on 12 December. Lining

cobbled yard, where 17th-century

the Bankside riverwalk outside

historic surroundings of the

beauty Lady Elizabeth Hatton

the Tate Modern, the festival

Tower of London. Dating back to

was once found murdered, the

provides an opportunity for

the 1080s, this landmark’s role as

brasserie is renowned for its

Christmas shopping among the

fortress, palace and prison has

appetizing French fare and

high-quality art and crafts stalls.

Royal Academy of Arts

Elemis day-spa

The Gallery, Fortnum and Mason

Fortune Theatre is the venue for

Having worked up an appetite,

stjameshotelandclub.com

A perfect way to round off

Next it’s time for refreshment

Bankside Winter Festival

royalacademy.org.uk

impressive wine list.

London’s multitude of attractions

Bleeding Heart Bistro

Images top l-r Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Tower of London Haunted London Tour Somerset House’s Ice Rink

extensive 18-month renovation,

a thermal muscle massage with

Piccadilly to continue shopping

St James’s Hotel and Club in

an anti-ageing booster facial.

at Fortnum and Mason. Serving

Mayfair has recently opened

up festive specials every day,

its doors, with Michelin-starred

rejuvenation complete, drop

The Gallery Restaurant is an

chef Dieter Müller at the helm.

into The Berkeley for the

ideal spot from where to survey

Needless to say, breakfasts at his

ultimate fashion tea. Madonna

the store’s revamped Ground

Andaman restaurant are lavish

Floor and savour cuisine that

affairs and champagne can be

mirrors some of the flavours

served alongside morning

of the famous Fresh Food Hall.

delights of Eggs Benedict and

Cross the river into bustling

To work off a long lunch, head to Somerset House’s

Culture and bodily

Kedgeree with smoked haddock. A brief walk brings you to the

popular Ice Rink for a one-hour

Royal Academy of Arts, where

skating session around the

fine collections of classic and

beautiful Tiffany Christmas tree. New treats at the pop-up Tiffany Tuck Shop include delectable cupcakes from The Hummingbird

Prêt-à-Portea, The Berkeley

Bakery and an exclusively designed sterling silver skate

and Gwyneth Paltrow have both

charm.

succumbed to the temptations of Prêt-à-Portea, which is served

A great way to celebrate Christmas is with a good old

daily in The Caramel Room

panto and the New Wimbledon

between 2pm and 6pm. Biscuits

Theatre has earned a reputation

and pastries inspired by the

for putting on the ultimate Yuletide show in the capital.

Andaman bar, St James’s Hotel

latest fashions give traditional English tea a creative edge and

This year’s magical Cinderella

contemporary paintings and

new seasonal designs have just

promises to be no different,

installations are displayed in

been finalised.

with an all-star cast that

Burlington House. Also within

includes Gareth Gates.

handy walking distance, Elemis

icing on the cake so reserve a

New Wimbledon Theatre

day-spa is a sensory space

seat at the beautiful Savoy and

and Savoy Theatre see

created with pure escapism in

keep an eye out for the stars.

www.theambassadors.com

As winter draws in, why not

mind. Ideal for awakening the

Carousel with Lesley Garrett

spoil yourself with a day of

body, the new Elemis Cooling

makes its anticipated West

Feature by

pampering? Following an

Hot Stone Body-Facial combines

End transfer in November.

Neena Dhillon

Indulgence Alert

A night at the theatre is the

For details of what’s on at the Fortune Theatre,

18

“with a little guts and lots of glitter”

0870 060 6631 lacagelondon.com PLAYHOUSE THEATRE Northumberland Avenue, London WC2

“ Waves

of

LAUGHTER” Evening Standard

Kevin Bishop Kelly Brook Nicholas Burns Katie Kerr

0870 060 6637

24hrs bkg fee

www.fatpigtheplay.com

COMEDY THEATRE Panton Street, London SW1


ATG Magazine Autumn/Winter 2008