US Sketch Show Follows Plenty ExtensionDate: 16 June 1999
The Almeida revival of David Hare's 1978 drama Plenty, starring Australian film actress Cate Blanchett, has extended its run at the West End's Albery Theatre by two weeks. The play opened 27 April (previews from 15 April) and will now close on 24 July, completing the Almeida's residency this year at the Albery. Plenty will be followed by the New York transfer, Forbidden Broadway, the satirical revue show which had a successful run on the fringe earlier this year.
Blanchett earned strong reviews for her portrayal of Susan Traherne whose life in dissent is traced over 20 years, from France in 1943 to London in the 1960s. The actress is perhaps best known for her BAFTA award-winning performance as the monarch in Shakhar Kapur's film Elizabeth. Her other film credits include Oscar and Lucinda and An Ideal Husband. Her theatre work includes The Seagull, Oleanna and Top Girls for the Sydney Theatre Company.
Debra Gillett and Julian Wadham join Blanchett in the cast. Plenty is directed by Jonathan Kent, joint artistic director of the Almeida, and designed by Maria Bjornson, with music by Jonathan Dove and lighting by Mark Henderson.
Forbidden Broadway was created by Gerard Allessandrini in 1982. Over the years, it has become something of a New York institution, lampooning Broadway's biggest shows, brightest stars and notorious flops. The show first came to London in the 1980s when it had a short run at the Fortune Theatre, but this is an all-new version of the show, which has been updated a dozen times during its continuing 16 year run off-Broadway. Parodies in the show include The Lion King, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Into the Woods, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Cats and Les Miserables.
The cast for the London production are American Christine Pedi, who has performed in many of the show's award-winning editions in 30 US states and in Japan, along with British recruits Sophie-Louise Dann, Mark O'Malley and Alistair Robins. Forbidden Broadway is conceived and written by Gerard Allessandrini, directed and choreographed by Phillip George, designed by Nigel Hook, with musical direction by Paul Knight.
Forbidden Broadway ran at the Jermyn Street Theatre for a ten-week season from 17 March 1999. It will open at the Albery for a limited run from 3 August 1999.