Madonna Cancels Matinees for Sell-Out Up for GrabsDate: 22 March 2002
Tickets for Madonna's much-anticipated West End outing in David Williamson's comedy Up for Grabs will be even harder to come by now after confirmation this morning that all 20 matinee performances - on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the limited season from 23 May to 13 July 2002 (previews from 9 May) at Wyndham's Theatre - have been cancelled because of the superstar's "unforeseen recording commitments".
Those who have already bought matinee tickets are being offered alternative dates for evening performances or a full refund. Prior to the news, the box office was reporting this week that no more tickets were available for the ten-week run, although more were expected to be released.
Producer Sonia Friedman commented: "We completely understand that Madonna has daytime recording commitments that cannot be rescheduled. As a result, we are determined to accommodate all matinee ticket holders."
Madonna’s manager Caresse Henry reiterated the star’s commitment to the stage production, saying: "Madonna is thrilled to do this play, especially to be on stage in the legendary West End."
Madonna (pictured), who last appeared on stage 13 years ago in David Mamet's Speed the Plow, will make her West End debut in Up for Grabs, a satire on the world of modern art. Heading a cast of seven (yet to be announced), she will play Simone, an ambitious art dealer who, when a coveted Jackson Pollock piece comes on the market, risks everything in an auction at which she plays her wealthy and oh-so greedy clients off against each other to force the price of the painting through the roof.
Up for Grabs will be directed by Laurence Boswell, whose production of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg just won the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Play Revival, and designed by Jeremy Herbert. It is produced by Friedman, on behalf of ATG, along with Theatre Royal Bath.
Best known for her singing and public relations prowess, in addition to her previous Broadway appearance, the 41-year-old Madonna's acting credits on film include Evita, A League of Their Own, Desperately Seeking Susan, Body of Evidence and Dick Tracy.
Up for Grabs is by established Australian playwright David Williamson, who has also written the screenplays for the likes of Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously. The play was first seen in February 2001 in Sydney where it broke box office records.
A special hotline has been set up to deal with re-assigning or refunding all matinee ticket holders. Those who have matinee tickets should call 020 7369 1796.