Brit Tom Holland Takes on Spider-Man + More U.K. News

Hello and welcome back to our roundup of news stories from theatre, film, and television.


The eagerly awaited “Spider-Man: Homecoming” opens in the UK this Wednesday and has been receiving generally positive reviews. Young British star Tom Holland (who looks positively old compared to his “Billy Elliot The Musical” era) apparently succeeds in carrying this latest installment in the Marvel action franchise. The all-swinging reboot began in earnest with “Spider-Man” in 2002. Toby Maguire was first put on the tight costume for three films before British actor Andrew Garfield picked up the adventure in “The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2” in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Though billed as a back-to-basics film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a long way from the low budget 70s era. Instead, the $175 million blockbuster follows epic battles as well as more relatable ones such as whether Peter should confess to having a crush on his classmate Liz, played by Laura Harrier. Whilst some have praised the film for ‘celebrating smallness’ and having “personal stakes”, others have called it a misstep in the Marvel Universe. As with any blockbuster, the real test will be if there’s a sequel in the works...which it seems there is! Comments made by Tom at a party suggest he’ll be putting the costume back on very soon.

Holland is reported as saying: “My next project, I can't tell you about, but we've just finished Spider-Man and we're talking about the second one and who the villain is going to be and where we're going.” Holland is going have a busy 2017-18, though obviously not as busy as his co-star Hannibal Buress, who sent a lookalike to his own premiere.


In theatre casting news, the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced the cast for their upcoming production of “Twelfth Night”. Christopher Luscombe will direct Adrian Edmondson (best known from “Bottom” and “Blackadder”) as Malvolio and Kara Tointon, known for series eight of “Strictly Come Dancing” and as Rosalie in “Mr. Selfridge”, as Olivia. They’ll be joined by Dinita Gohil as Viola, John Hodgkinson as Sir Toby Belch, Vivien Parry as Maria, Esh Alladi as Sebastian, Nicholas Bishop as Orsino, and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

Casting has also been announced for Chichester Festival Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Stepmother” by Githa Sowerby. Sowerby, who died in 1970, was a socialist and early feminist who had a smash hit in 1912 with her play “Rutherford and Son” but lapsed into obscurity in later decades.

“The Stepmother”, set in 1924, is a gripping drama investigating manipulation, money, matrimony and the price of a woman’s independence in a man’s world. Directed by Richard Eyre, Ophelia Lovibond (“W1A”, “The Effect”, “The Libertine”) will play Lois Relph and Will Keen (“The Crown”, “Wolf Hall”, “Sherlock”) plays Eustace Gardon. David Bark-Jones, Kaye Brown, Simon Chandler, Joanna David, Macy Nyman, Eve Ponsonby, Samuel Valentine and Sharon Wattis make up the rest of the cast. “The Stepmother” previews from the 11th of August.

Good news for those who have missed out so far; Jez Butterworth's “The Ferryman”, directed by Sam Mendes, has been extended at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End until 6 January 2018. The production won widespread critical acclaim when it opened at the Royal Court, becoming the fastest-selling show in their history. Record breaking success has continued at the Gielgud Theatre where it’s played to sold-out houses and created early morning queues on Shaftesbury Avenue for day seats. Paddy Considine continues to play Quinn Carney, joined by Laura Donnelly in the role of Caitlin Carney and Genevieve O’Reilly in the role of Mary Carney.

From a play staying put in the West End to one that’s about to join it. The critically lauded “Late Company” is set to transfer to Trafalgar Studios in August following its European premiere at Finborough Theatre. Canadian Jordan Tannahill’s play is inspired by a true story and follows a middle-class couple who have invited their son’s bully and his parents over for a dinner party. The production will transfer with the cast from the sold-out original run; Todd Boyce, David Leopold, Alex Lowe, Lucy Robinson and Lisa Stevenson.

Lastly, for opera lovers who like to get close to the action, the Arcola theatre’s hugely successful Grimeborn Festival has announced the lineup for 2017. The East London theatre will be home to a stripped back “Porgy and Bess” as well as new work by up and coming artists in European opera. Take a look here.

That’s all the industry news we have space for this week! If you’ve got anything to add or share then don’t forget to post in the comments below.

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