Priestley Closes to Make Way for Youth at GarrickDate: 28 January 2002
JB Priestley's Dangerous Corner, starring Dervla Kirwan and Rupert Penry-Jones, will close early at the West End's Garrick Theatre in order to make way for the UK premiere of the first play by hot American playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse revival of Priestley's 1932 country house thriller opened on 14 November 2001 (previews from 6 November) and was scheduled to run to 6 April 2002. It will now close on 23 February after a run of three and a half months. Lonergan's This Is Our Youth will then have a limited run at the Garrick from 1 March to 20 April 2002, with a high-profile young Hollywood cast including Star Wars' Hayden Christensen and The Piano's Anna Paquin.
With This Is Our Youth now confirmed, Lonergan will be represented in the West End this spring with two simultaneous productions. Over at the Donmar Warehouse, his latest play Lobby Hero, running from 4 April to 4 May, will receive its UK premiere as part of the theatre's annual American Imports season, which also features David Auburn's Broadway hit Proof.
First seen in New York in 1996, when it was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best New Play, This Is Our Youth is a tragic-comedy set over a weeked in early 1980s Manhattan, where three college-aged kids from affluent families are living in drugged up squalor.
Christiansen will soon appear as the grown-up Anakin Skywalker in the next Star Wars instalment, Attack of the Clones. He recently received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for Life as a House, in which he co-starred with Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Paquin is best-known for her Oscar-winning childhood part opposite Holly Hunter in 1993's The Piano, while her subsequent films have included Amistad, She's All That, Finding Forrester, X-Men and Almost Famous. Paquin and Christiansen are joined by fellow film actor Jake Gyllenhaal who will soon appear with Jennifer Anniston in The Good Girl and with Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon in Goodbye Hello.
Following This Is Our Youth's American debut, Lonergan received international acclaim for his Oscar-nominated 2001 film You Can Count on Me, which he wrote and directed. His other plays include The Waverly Gallery. The West End production of This Is Our Youth is directed by Laurence Boswell and designed by Jeremy Herbert, with lighting by Adam Silverman.
- by Terri Paddock