Coburn's Gin Game Comes to Savoy, 31 MarchDate: 15 March 1999
D L Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game comes to the West End this month, following a two-month national tour. The revival, starring renowned classical stage and screen actors Dorothy Tutin and Joss Ackland, opens at the Savoy Theatre on 31 March (previews from 30 March) for a strictly limited ten-week engagement.
The Gin Game was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1978. Its debut Broadway production the same year received numerous Tony Award nominations, as did a revival of the play staged in 1997. The Gin Game was last seen in the UK in 1978/79 in a production which starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy and was directed by Mike Nichols.
The drama follows the blossoming and degeneration of a relationship between an elderly couple. Fiery Weller Martin, played by Ackland, and the prim and self-righteous Fonsia Dorsey, played by Tutin, meet, play cards and chat. Each reveals initimate details about their lives and revels in the other's attention. But, when tempers rise over the card game, their friendship turns ino a stinging battle of wills.
The Olivier Award-winning Tutin, who made her stage debut in 1949, is a long-time veteran of the RSC, RNT, Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic. More recent West End credits include Harold Pinter's A Kind of Alaska, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Thursdays Ladies and A Little Night Music. Ackland's recent stage credits include the Olivier Award-winning Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 at the Barbican, Peter Pan, Never the Sinner and Lock Up Your Daughters.
The Gin Game is directed by Frith Banbury with design by Robin Dun, costumes by Binnie Bowerman, lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Tom Lishman. It arrives at the Savoy following runs in Malvern, Woking, Richmond, Oxford, Coventry, Southampton and Bromley.