Ariel Dorfman Follows Death with Purgatory???
Date: 19 March 2002
After a decade's absence, South American playwright Ariel Dorfman could be once again represented in the West End before long. Dorfman is best known for Death and the Maiden, seen in 1991 at the Royal Court before transferring to the West End's Duke of York's and scooping Oliviers for Best New Play and Best Actress for Juliet Stevenson. That play - set in the aftermath of a vicious South American dictatorship in which the protagonist Paulina was tortured and raped by a government official who has now turned up as her husband's house guest - drew on Dorfman's own experiences in Pinochet-ruled Chile. Death and the Maiden was subsequently made into a film, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley. Dorfman's new play, entitled Purgatory, was initially due to premiere in the West End this spring, but casting difficulties have forced a postponed, probably until October. Briton Rupert Graves was lined up to star, but is now tied up on Broadway with The Elephant Man which, directed by fellow Brit Sean Mathias, opens on 14 April (previews from 26 March). Indeed, there's a possibility that production too may make its way to London. Producer David Aukin planned to mount it in the West End first but changed his mind when American film star Billy Crudup came on board.
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