Hall Returns to West End for Eddie and LennyDate: 15 April 1999
Sir Peter Hall may have disbanded his West End repertory company for lack of subsidy and trotted off to Los Angeles to direct Shakespeare, but that doesn't mean he'll be absent from these shores for long. In addition to his vocal steering of the newly launched UK pressure group, the Shadow Arts Council, Hall has been confirmed to direct Lenny, Julian Barry's biopic on controversial American comic Lenny Bruce, which is scheduled to open at the Queen's Theatre for a limited twelve week season from 9 August (previews from 27 July).
Cross-dressing British comedian Eddie Izzard has signed up to play Bruce in the piece which premiered on Broadway in 1970 before being made into a film, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Dustin Hoffman, in 1971. New Yorker Bruce was famous for his filthy jokes and anger-filled political satire as well as his heroin addiction. He died prematurely of a suspected drugs overdose in 1966.
Izzard is best known for his touring comedy shows and videos such as Dress to Kill and Glorious. He made his West End acting debut in 1994 in David Mamet's The Cryptogram at the Ambassadors Theatre. His other stage credits include Edward II and 900 Oneonta. On film, he has recently appeared alongside Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine and in The Avengers.
Lenny is produced by PW Productions, who also teamed up with Hall on the revival of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, starring David Suchet and Michael Sheen. If Lenny succeeds in the West End, producers hope to take it to America.
Thelma Holt's production of Macbeth, starring Rufus Sewell and Sally Dexter, is currently playing at the Queen's. It is due to close 5 June.