Marber Makes Stage Debut in Speed-the-PlowDate: 12 January 2000
Award-winning Closer playwright Patrick Marber makes his first serious stage acting debut next month in a revival of Speed the Plow, David Mamet's 1988 satirical three-hander which strips the tinsel from Hollywood. The production opens 23 February at the Oxford Playhouse and visits Richmond and Brighton before transferring to the West End for a run at the New Ambassadors Theatre from 14 March to 22 April 2000.
As an author, Marber's first play, Dealer's Choice, opened at the National in 1995 before transferring to the West End and winning an Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy and a Writer's Guild Award for Best West End Play. His big hit, 1997's Closer, also opened at the National before transferring to the West End and Broadway. Dubbed the seminal play for the 90s, the tale about the vicissitudes of modern love was heaped with accolades, including the 1997 Time Out Award for Best Play in the West End, the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award, the Critics' Circle Best Play Award and the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Marber also directed both Dealer's Choice and Closer as well as 1953 (Almeida), Blue Remembered Hills (National) and the 1998 Royal Court production of David Mamet's The Old Neighbourhood, in which Mamet appeared. On television, Marber has written and appeared in numerous productions including Knowing Me Knowing You and The Day Today.
Marber is joined in the cast by Mark Strong and the American actress Kimberly Williams. Strong starred in Marber's Closer at the National. His TV credits include Our Friends in the North, Emma, In the Name of Love and Prime Suspect and his film credits include Fever Pitch and Elephant Juice, in which he appeared with Williams. William's other film credits include Father of the Bride and Simpatico.
Speed the Plow focuses on ambitious Hollywood producer Bobby (Strong) and his decision, brought about by his seduction by a sexy temp (Williams), to film a novel about a nuclear catastrophe and the end of the world rather than the star-laden, sure-fire hit brought to him by his grovelling sidekick (Marber).
The original Broadway production of Speed the Plow starred Madonna while the British premiere was mounted by the National in 1989. This is the first major London revival. It is directed by Peter Gill, with design by John Gunter, lighting by Andy Phillips and musical composition by Terry Davies.