The only fringe theatre venue in Leicester Square is to close in September. The tiny 150 seat Sound Theatre has sat shoulder to shoulder with the biggest of West End dross-peddling venues (Mama Mia is still playing at the Prince of Wales...) in the same block as the Swiss Centre since June last year, but while Sound's restaurant, bar and nightclub willmove to new Leicester Square premises, the theatre will not be joining them. The West End may not need another theatre but it certainly needs new ideas... Sound made a good try, let's hope they'll find a new home and keep trying.
The future of the Theatre Museum has been hanging in the balance for a while, and looks set to continue in its uncertain state with the news that the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) will not be joining the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Opera House in a joint bid to save the Museum's current Russell Street site. SOLT's involvement in any bid to save the Theatre Museum has been widely believed by the performing arts sector to be protection from a takeover by the Royal Opera House and an increased likelihood that the Museum will stay in Covent Garden at its current site rather than be moved elsewhere. The Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Opera House plans are due to unveil their plans for the future of the Theatre Museum this autumn, most likely to be followed by a temporary closure from December this year until autumn next year while all plans are finalised.
Londonist is happy to announce that Icelandic theatre director Gísli Örn Gardarsson will be collaborating again with Nick Cave and Bad Seed Warren Ellis on another theatre project: an adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis for the Lyric Hammersmith at the end of September 2006. With co-direction from the Lyric Hammersmith's artistic director David Farr, the hottest and loudest theatre-musician partnership will put this existential horror-comedy on stage with the aerial gymnastics and dark-edged story-telling songs that have become their signature style.
On a recent trip to see Woyzeck at the Barbican, Londonist was almost overwhelmed by the combined forces of Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - the show had people swimming and fornicating in glass tanks, flowers being shot like arrows from the ceiling into the ground and the Drum Major introducing himself by dangling upside down on a trapeze, singing a very Nick Cave-style song while swinging over the audiences head. If they're going to apply the same style to a story about a man who turns into a frigging huge cockroach... well, we're booking tickets NOW. More information and tickets available at the Lyric Hammersmith wesbite here.