Madonna-led Up for Grabs Cancels Three PreviewsDate: 29 April 2002
First it was the matinees, now it's the previews. The first three preview performances of Madonna's much-anticipated West End debut in David Williamson's Up for Grabs have been cancelled due to "technical difficulties". Originally due to start on 9 May 2002, the comedy will now have its first preview on Monday 13 May at Wyndham's Theatre, with the opening night still scheduled for 23 May.
Last month the pop superstar cancelled all 20 matinee performances - on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the limited ten-week season to 13 July 2002 due to "unforeseen recording commitments". All ticket holders for those performances were offered exchanges to evening performances or refunds. Now the entire run is sold-out, three extra performances are having to be mounted for the preview cancellations. Ironically, ticket holders for 9, 10 and 11 May are now being offered access to matinees on, respectively, 13 May, 6 and 13 July. If they are unable to make the prescribed date, their money will be refunded.
A statement from the producers explained the reason for the preview cancellations: "The production has developed into a complex synchronicity between moving set, sound, music and projection and, realising it in an older style theatre like the Wyndham's, has increased the necessary technical time."
Madonna, who last appeared on stage 13 years ago in New York 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, she plays 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 is directed by Laurence Boswell and designed by Jeremy Herbert. It is produced by Sonia Friedman, on behalf of ATG, along with Theatre Royal Bath.
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 preview ticket holders. If you have been affected, please call 020 7369 1796.