A little later than usual as I've been on holiday...
* Quite a few nuggets of excitement in the National Theatre’s 2018 season announcement. Sam Mendes will direct The Lehmans Trilogy and Ralph Fiennes will appear alongside Sophie Okonedo in Antony and Cleopatra. Stan-fav Colin Morgan will star in Brian Friel’s Translations, Vanessa Kirby will star in Polly Stenham’s new version of Miss Julie (the Miss has been dropped) and one of my favourite plays of this year (so far), An Octoroon, is transferring to the National next summer.
* Sheila Hancock will star in the stage adaptation of 1971 comedy Harold and Maude at the Charing Cross Theatre from February.
* Mischief Theatre - those clever peeps behind The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong (etc) - are returning to the West End with their improvised Mischief Movie Night at the Arts Theatre from December 13.
* The next season at the Park Theatre will include a new play written by and starring David Haig called Pressure which is about meteorologists trying to predict the perfect weather for the D-Day landings.
* Mel Giedroyc is to star in Much Ado About Nothing at the Rose Theatre in Kingston from April.
* Kathryn Hunter is directing Told By An Idiot’s Napoleon Disrobed at the Arcola from February.
* Now this is technically news from the end of September but my radar missed it initially. Nothing official has been announced but James McAvoy and Jamie Lloyd have been talking on social media about doing Cyrano de Bergerac.
* The Old Vic is 200 years old next year and is naturally planning a bumper year. Highlights for me of what has been announced so far is an adaptation of Patrick Ness’s book A Monster Calls. I loved the book and the film adaptation was spot on. It is a challenging book to translate for the stage - if you are familiar with the story, you’ll know why - but it has the potential to be really imaginative. I’ll judge its success on whether it makes me cry or not.
Rhys Ifans and Chuk Iwuji were both spotted in Covent Garden on separate occasions. At the press night of Lyric Hammersmith’s The Seagull: Ashley Zhangazha, Amelia Bullman, Simon Stephens (he did the adaptation but I'm still counting him), Hammed Animashaun and Adele Leon who was last seen in Against. Jack Thorne was spotted watching Beginning at the National Theatre, as was Samuel Barnett. And finally, Damien Molony, Danny Webb and Kirsty Bushell were all spotted front of house between matinee and evening performances at Chichester.