Hollywood's Damon, Affleck & Phoenix Debut in YouthDate: 4 April 2002
Good Will Hunting film star Matt Damon will make his West End debut this month in Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth. He - along with Casey (brother of Ben) Affleck and Summer (sister of River and Joaquin) - are to take over from fellow Hollywood young guns Hayden Christensen, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in the 1980s coming-of-age play at the Garrick Theatre from 22 April to 15 June 2002.
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 tragi-comedy set over a weeked in early 1980s Manhattan, where three college-aged kids from affluent families are living in drugged up squalor. This London premiere opened to strong reviews on 11 March (previews from 1 March) and had been scheduled to close on 20 April.
In addition to Good Will Hunting, Damon has starred in major film releases including Saving Private Ryan, The Talented Mr Ripley, Ocean's Eleven, Rounders, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Majestic and The Bourne Identity.
Affleck and Phoenix will also be making their West End debuts in This Is Our Youth. Affleck has appeared on screen with Damon in Good Will Hunting, Ocean's Eleven, Chasing Amy and the upcoming Gerry. Phoenix's film credits include Esther Kahn, The Believer, Dinner Rush, The Laramie Project and Wasted. While playing Affleck's love interest on stage, she is also his real-life girlfriend.
Playwright Lonergan is also represented in the West End by his latest play, Lobby Hero, which starts preview performances at the Donmar Warehouse tonight. 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.
This Is Our Youth is directed by Laurence Boswell - who will soon be directing Madonna's West End debut, Up for Grabs, down the road at Wyndham's Theatre - and designed by Jeremy Herbert, with lighting by Adam Silverman.
- by Terri Paddock