Lily Allen Debuts in Neil LaBute’s Pretty Play???Date: 14 September 2009
Pop star Lily Allen is planning to make her theatrical stage debut in the UK premiere of Neil LaBute’s 2008 play Reasons to Be Pretty, which is expected to open in the West End in 2010.
Speaking to journalists at this past weekend’s Bestival music festival, the 24-year-old singer said that her tour dates conclude in March, when she would be ready to “try something new”. She has started private acting lessons with a tutor from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to help her prepare to tread the boards, following in the footsteps of her actor-father Keith Allen and brother Alfie Allen (who made his stage debut last year in the tour of Equus).
American Neil LaBute had a West End hit last year with Fat Pig, which had an extended season at first Trafalgar Studios and then the Comedy Theatre with its stellar casts (including Robert Webb and Kelly Brook) and went on to win the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy. He’s also had West End success with Some Girls, which starred Friends’ David Schwimmer in 2005, and a revival of The Shape of Things with Hollywood’s Alicia Witt in 2004.
His plays In a Dark Dark House, The Mercy Seat, The Distance from Here, Bash and The Shape of Things have all had premiere runs at London’s Almeida Theatre, while This Is How It Goes was seen at the Donmar Warehouse in 2005. His films include In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Wicker Man and adaptations of The Shape of Things and Bash.
Reasons to Be Pretty confronts the American obsession with physical beauty. Greg’s tight-knit social circle is thrown into turmoil when his off-hand remarks about a female coworker’s pretty face (and his girlfriend’s lack thereof) get back to his partner. Greg’s best friend Kent and Kent’s wife Carly also enter into the picture as their relationship crumbles, pulling their friends into the conflict and deceit.
According to Allen, "The play is about themes close to my heart, about the really damaging cult of beauty among young girls. They want me to play the lead, which is both amazing and terrifying." Hollywood screen star Piper Perabo starred in the four-hander’s Broadway premiere this past April.
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