Review and production pictures: The art of acerbic wit and self defence in Apologia, Trafalgar Studios
Review: The Catastrophists, White Bear Theatre

That was July in London Theatre land with a bumper crop of announcements and thesp spots

Loot_460x375After a quiet June, July was a bumper month for announcements and thesp spots...

* The cast for The Divide, the new Alan Ayckbourn play, was announced. Clare Burt will be joined by Sophie Melville, Sian Thomas and Finty Williams. It opens at the Edinburgh Fringe this week (8 Aug) and then at the Old Vic from Jan 30.

* It was a month of former Globe artistic director announcements starting with Dominic Dromgoole who has announced an Oscar Wilde season at the Vaudeville Theatre including Lady Windermere’s Fan directed by Kathy Burke and A Woman of No Importance starring Eve Best.

* Then the Old Vic announced that Emma Rice’s production company, Wise Children, would have a residency at the Old Vic. The first production next year will be an adaptation of an Angela Carter novel. Goodie.

* Stan-fav Sinead Matthews has been cast in Loot at Park Theatre (picture) which also exciting because it’s been many years since I last saw a production of Loot.

* Much lauded on Broadway, the UK production of Oslo (National Theatre and West End) has found its leads: Toby Stephens and Lydia Leonard.

* This Christmas will see the battle of the stage Scrooges. Rhys Ifans is playing Scrooge in an Old Vic production of A Christmas Carol while Phil Davis is playing same character in the RSC’s version in Stratford. Already looking forward to compare and contrasts.

* The Bristol Old Vic’s production of A Long Day’s Journey Into The Night starring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville is transferring to the Wyndhams Theatre in London in January.

* Josie Lawrence is to play lead in Mother Courage and Her Children (translated by Tony Kushner) at Southwark Playhouse, last saw Fiona Shaw doing a marvellous job in this role.

* Ruby Bentall and Joe Bannister have been cast in Ramona Tells Jim at the Bush Theatre.

Thesp spots

After June’s slim pickings the thesps were out and about again. American film star and director Stanley Tucci was at a two play day of Angels in America. After After part one James McArdle was spotting having dinner at the Green Room while Simon Stephens was also having dinner there but he was later spotted in the audience of Common. Also at the National Theatre Michael Sheen and Eddie Redmayne were both spotted browsing in the bookshop. And finally Yerma director Simon Stone and cast including Billie Piper, Brendan Cowell and John MacMillan were spotting having post rehearsal drinks with Jonjo O’Neil in the Young Vic bar.