Gish Stars in Concentric's Debut Phaedra, 28 JanDate: 29 October 2001
Sheila Gish will star next year in a fresh outing of Racine's Phaedra, the debut production from Concentric Circles, a new theatre company which counts amongst its key supporters Sir Anthony Hopkins and Pierce Brosnan. Phaedra runs at the Riverside Studios from 28 January to 9 March 2002, following an initial week-long run in Colchester. It replaces a planned production of Hamlet, starring Colin Firth, which was cancelled in July due to Firth's film commitments.
Co-founded by director Christopher Fettes and actor Daniel Betts, Concentric Circles is dedicated to the development of young actors, offering them the opportunity to extend and develop their range by working with and learning from experienced professionals over a wide repertoire.
Commenting on the new company, Hopkins said: "Every profession I can think of provides extensive post-graduate training to ensure the highest standards of excellence. Theatre is the exception. Drama schools provide an excellent base, but what young people desperately need is the chance to build on this. Concentric Circles offers just this opportunity."
Hopkins and Brosnan both sit on the management board of the company, which is led by Fettes and Betts acting as joint artistic directors. Fettes will direct the production of Phaedra which will star Betts as Hippolytus, the doomed stepson of Gish's Phaedra in the tragedy of a powerful woman torn apart by sexual obsession. The production is designed by Agnes Treplin.
An award-winning stage and screen actress, Gish began her association with Fettes in 1982 when he directed her in Berenice at the Lyric Hammersmith. She subsequently appeared in his productions of Uncle Vanya (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Intermezzo (Greenwich). Her other stage credits include Suddenly Last Summer (Comedy), A Streetcar Named Desire (Greenwich), Les Parents Terribles (National), What the Butler Saw (Wyndham's), Neverland (Royal Court) and Company (Donmar Warehouse), for which she won an Olivier. This year, she appeared in the Edward Albee double bill, Finding the Sun/Marriage Play, at the National.
- by Terri Paddock