Graduate Extends as Cast Rumours FlyDate: 4 May 2000
Terry Johnson's stage adaptation of The Graduate has announced an extension to its booking period as rumours about possible big-name replacements for star Kathleen Turner heat up. The Graduate, which opened at the Gielgud Theatre on 5 April following previews from 24 March 2000, is now booking until 29 July, extended from 19 June 2000.
Forty-five-year-old Turner, who has repeatedly criticised Hollywood for the sparseness of its roles for older women, caused waves during previews for the stage show when the news leaked out that she played a seduction scene in the nude. Now, apparently, numerous over-40 film stars are queueing up to strip off in the role. Names in the running have included Cybill Shepherd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone, though nothing has been confirmed.
Turner makes her West End stage debut in the part of Mrs Robinson, made famous by Anne Bancroft in Mike Nichols' 1967 film about a young man who has an affair with an older woman and then falls in love with her daughter. Matthew Rhys stars as Benjamin and Kelly Reilly as Elaine Robinson, parts played, respectively, by Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross in the film version. They're joined in the cast by Amanda Boxer, Paul Jesson, Colin Stinton, Alan Barnes, Sara Bienvenu, Sally Chattaway, Josh Cohen and Geoffrey Towers.
The play has been sold out for every performance to date, with daily queues for returns, and it has broken box office records at the Gielgud. So far it's taken £2 million at the box office and is currently carrying an advance in excess of £1 million.
The Graduate is written by Terry Johnson, adapted from the original novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Johnson also directs, with design by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Mike Walker. The show is produced by John Reid and Sacha Brooks.