WOS TV: Up Close With ... Elena RogerDate: 31 August 2010
The Donmar Warehouse’s upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim's Passion will see Elena Roger return to the West End stage. Best known for starring as Eva Peron in the 2006 West End revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, Roger is no stranger to the Donmar or its artistic director, Michael Grandage.
Roger was seen in the West End in 2007 playing air stewardess, Gabriella, in the comic play Boeing Boeing. She then played the lead in the Donmar production of Piaf which transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in 2008 before tours to both her native Argentina and Madrid. She was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Elena during a break from rehearsals and asked her about Passion, her previous projects with the Donmar and associate director Jamie Lloyd and performing Evita with Ricky Martin on Broadway in 2012.
Roger is joined in the cast by Scarlett Strallen and David Thaxton. The production runs at the Donmar from 21 September to 27 November 2010 (previews from 10 September) as part of the theatre’s commemoration of Sondheim's 80th birthday this year.
Based on the Italian film Passione d’Amore, which was adapted from a 19th-century novella, Passion is set amongst a battalion of soldiers in a bleak frontier town, where lonely Fosca’s obsessive passion threatens the happiness of Giorgio and his beautiful mistress Clara.
The musical, with music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by James Lapine, premiered on Broadway in 1994, when it won three Tony Awards, for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. A revised version of the show had its West End premiere in 1996, starring Maria Friedman, Michael Ball and Helen Hobson.