UK Roundup - Snoopy, Christian Slater, TKTS

By: Aug. 08, 2004
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You can give a dog a bone but not give a dog a home, as Snoopy the Musical makes a swift bow-wow from its newly-opened off-West End venue. Having recently opened on July 21st, some lukewarm reviews and word-of-mouth of a hot, sticky venue led to the demise of the quirky 21st Anniversary production, not to mention the lack of tourists. Another off-West End musical, Little By Little, at the Arts Theatre has cancelled its remaining two performances. It was due to play on Sundays through August – starring Pau/>/>l Spicer and Julie Atherton -but low sales forced it to shut early.

The PR machine for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is working overtime. Firstly director Guy Masterson dropped out due to being "emotionally unable to continue" and now Christian Slater has contracted chicken pox (or should that be cuckoo pox?). Despite making a quick recovery, caught from another cast member, he gained a secondary infection causing producers to drop initially the first performance and then three more. I'd spoken to the venue earlier that morning who confirmed that every single seat had been sold, so those from the cancelled performance will either have to miss out, or join the eBay bidders. Either way, the production will still transfer to the Gielgud Theatre in September.

Are you under 16 and like to go to the theatre alone? If so, and you're caught out after 9pm without an adult, you will be 'removed' from the capital under the 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act. The chief executive of the Society of London/> Theatre (SOLT) thinks this will hit box offices directly, believing it will 'put parents off' coming to West End/> theatre. The aim of removing under 16s from London/>/>'s centre is to crack down on things like petty crime, vandalism and under age drinking - hardly activities young theatregoers are going to be engaging in. Many, obviously, feel the move is unnecessary. My personal opinion is that the chief executive of SOLT is just finding excuses for low box offices; unaccompanied children probably make up 0.5% of the nightly audience figures.

Just as in New York/> there are two TKTS Booths, London/> has just gained another official half price ticket booth at Canary/>/> Wharf/>/> train station. The move is no doubt a bid to attract more workers from the financial sector of the city and also possibly to reduce the number of unofficial half price ticket venders. TKTS is big business at the moment - you can find almost every show in the West End/> on its boards. It charges a £2.50 service charge per ticket and you cannot pay in cash at the new booth. To see what's available today, visit the website at, you'll be amazed by just how much is available.

The Almeida's critically acclaimed production of Festen, which starred Johnny Lee Miller and Jane Asher, is to eventually transfer to the West End/>. Despite the run closing in April, a commercial move has always been on the cards, however Miller will not rejoin his cast members – he is replaced by Luke Mably. Taken from the 1998 film, translated as The Celebration, the play takes place around a man's 60th birthday in the Danish countryside, where eldest son Christian brings up a dark family secret. It will start previews at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on September 15th, with initial booking up until January.

NEXT WEEK: Jake reports from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a special UK Roundup.