Nichols' Graduate Set for Stage PremiereDate: 5 October 1998
Mike Nichols' award-winning 1967 film The Graduate is heading for a world stage premiere. Producers Sacha Brooks and John Reid have secured the rights for a stage show from rightsholders Canal +, the French television company, and are planning to mount a major West End production for late spring of 1999.
Brooks told What's On Stage that he and Reid are now in discussions with a writer and director, neither of whom have yet been signed. Negotiations have also begun on casting, particularly for the part of Mrs Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft in the film. Brooks hinted that a 'huge' British star is about to be secured.
The stage version will closely follow the original storyline of the book and the film, but says Brook, 'we are able to do work on it to make it more 90s.' The pair also have the rights for a possible musical version of the story, but Brooks said the initial production will be a straight stage play.
The Graduate tells the story of young Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman in the film, who is disillusioned with life after completing his college degree. He stumbles into an affair with a predatory older woman, Mrs Robinson, who is also the wife of a friend of his parents. But when he then meets and falls in love with the Robinsons' daughter Elaine, things turn nasty.
Mike Nichols won an Academy Award for Best Director for The Graduate. The film also features a famous soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel which includes the now classic hits 'Sounds of Silence', 'Scarborough Fair' and 'Mrs Robinson'.
Brooks and Reid have been working together for the past two years on various theatre projects, including the London production of Douglas Carter's off-Broadway hit As Bees in Honey Drown which has been postponed for lack of a suitable lead.
Reid is best known as a rock music manager. Until recently, he managed Elton John with whom he had a relationship for over 25 years. Reid also briefly managed Lord of the Dance superstar Michael Flatley. The two are currently locked in a two-way legal action. Reid is suing Flatley for £10 million for breach of contract and loss of earnings while Flatley is countersuing to alleged deceit. The case continues. For further information, read the What's On Stage news article, Lord of Dance Flatley Being Sued for £10m.