+ The news have been broken a week ago or so but finally it's confirmed. John Simm will play Hamlet in the Sheffield Crucible's production of Shakespeare's play. It's their first Shakespeare too. Directing will be Paul Miller, which is great news, cause he did a great job with Elling and a flawless job with the difficult The Enchantment at the National. He is unintrusive and actors-focused and low key and if you ask me that's exactly what Hamlet needs. Good luck to everyone and see you in Sheffield in the autumn.
+ In other Sheffield Crucible news, Lucy Cohu will join the cast of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, starring Anthony Sher. Cohu is arguably my favourite actress of the stage 2009 and the true revelation of the season so it's good to see her going on to more theatre, after an absence of years before Speaking in Tongues. Artistic chief Daniel Evans will direct An Enemy of the People and we love Mr.Evans big time. Big time.
+ Now some London news. The upcoming Donmar production of Mark Haddon's Polar Bears will star Richard Coyle and Jodhi May. I'm still suspicious about Haddon's writing skills (never bought the hype over The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) but I liked Richard Coyle a lot in Pinter's The Lover/The Collection at the Comedy last year. And Jodhi May. Aw, Jodhi May, she is wonderful. It will be quite a thrill to see her in theatre, after her luminous presence in Peter Greenaway's Nightwatching and the BBC's rather uneven mini-series adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma.
+ Earlier this week it was announced that Romola Garai would be returning to the stage for Filter's production of Chekov's Three Sisters at the Lyric Hammersmith. Now, this is an example of absolutely PERFECT casting news. First, Filter already amazed me with their Twelfth Night at the Tricycle last season. And it's Chekov! So Three Sisters is not my favourite Chekov but still it beats almost any other night out, and I normally like Christopher Hampton's versions. Plus Romola Garai. I remember seeing her many years ago playing Lucia Beckett in Michael Hastings' Calico and the impression she left was enduring indeed.
+ Finally a bad news/good news thing. The much expected (at least by me) production of Ibsen's Ghosts at the Duchess Theatre, starring Lesley Sharp and Ian Glen (and directed by Glen), will not have Tom Brooke as Oswald as it did when it was presented in a rehearsed reading at the Young Vic. Brooke was a great Oswald and it's a pity that he can't reprise that role. The good news is that the part of Oswald now goes to Harry Treadaway, who was most impressive in Mark Ravenhill's Over There and I confess to being a big fan. So it almost makes up for the absence of Brooke.