Wednesday, 5 December 2012

People Roundup

Neil Gaiman will be in Tasmania next month as part of the music-and-arts-centred Mona Foma Festival. An Evening With Neil Gaiman is to be held at the Theatre Royal in Hobart on Sunday 20th January. (NB: Although the event is described as being suitable for all ages, explicit language is used in the theatre's web page about the show.)

In addition, Gaiman's urban fantasy TV series Neverwhere, which aired on BBC Two in 1996 and had an accompanying novelisation, is currently being made for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. Adapted by Dirk Maggs, who is also co-directing it, and with a cast that includes Christopher Lee, Bernard Cribbins, Anthony Head, Yasmin Paige, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Don Gilet, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Andrew Sachs, the six-parter is scheduled to be broadcast during the early part of 2013. [neilgaiman.com, 28 Nov 2012]

Sheila Hancock and Lee Evans are to star in a new comedy at Wyndham's Theatre in London next year. Barking In Essex tells the tale of a gangster fresh out of jail and returning to his dysfunctional family to retrieve more than £3.5m. It has been written by Clive Exton and will be directed by Harry Burton, with Evans playing the "dim-witted idiot of the criminal underbelly" Darnley and Hancock playing Emmie, described as Darnley's "Rottweiler mother". The production previews from Friday 6th September, opening on Monday 16th September. [BBC News, 30 Nov 2012]

A new play by David Haig that was due to open at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh next May before transferring to Chichester Festival Theatre has run into casting problems. Pressure, which is about the meteorologist Captain James Stagg, who had the task of predicting the weather ahead of the D-Day landings in the Second World War, has been postponed until spring 2014 while the search to find "the right person" to play Stagg continues. [The Stage, 30 Nov 2012]

Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman have both been nominated as Best TV Comedy Actress in this year's British Comedy Awards. Colman has, in fact, been nominated twice - firstly for Rev and secondly for Twenty Twelve, with Hynes's nomination also being for Twenty Twelve. The spoof "mockumentary" about this year's London Olympics, which had a voiceover commentary by David Tennant, is itself up for Best Sitcom against, among others, The Thick Of It, which starred Peter Capaldi, and both Capaldi and Hugh Bonneville are vying for the title of Best TV Comedy Actor for their roles in those two respective shows. Meanwhile, David Mitchell is in the running for Best Male Television Comic and he is also among the nominees for the publicly-voted King and Queen of Comedy. The ceremony will be shown live on Channel 4 on Wednesday 12th December. [BBC News, 2 Dec 2012]

Tamsin Greig and Anne Reid will be among the guest stars appearing in a new darkly comic anthology that has just started filming for BBC Two. Written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the six-part series, which has the working title of Inside No 9, will take a look at what goes on behind closed doors at six very different residences sharing the number 9. [BBC Media Centre, 3 Dec 2012]

Sheridan Smith - companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas - is to return as mystery-solver Jonathan Creek's sidekick Joey Ross in a new episode of the BBC One crime-comedy-drama. Filming on The Clue of the Savant's Thumb, written by David Renwick, starts later this month, with the 90-minute Jonathan Creek special due to air next Easter. [BBC Media Centre, 5 Dec 2012]