Close Makes Debut in Streetcar with Glen, 8 OctDate: 26 June 2002
Details for Trevor Nunn's long-planned revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, with Hollywood screen star Glenn Close (pictured) making her British stage debut playing Blanche Dubois, have now been confirmed. The production will open on 8 October 2002 (previews from 28 September) in the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre - returned to its normal state after the conclusion of the current five-month Transformation season - and will have a strictly limited run to 23 November. Close will be joined by British stage veteran Iain Glen as Stanley Kowalski.
Blanche DuBois, a faded and fragile Southern belle, arrives to visit her younger sister Stella, now living in a seedy district of New Orleans. Blanche is near the end of a downhill path in her life, but she comes repeatedly into confrontation with Stella's sexually aggressive husband, Stanley, whose coarseness both offends and attracts her educated sensitivity. As jazz from the local bars blares through the night, tensions rise to an inevitable breaking point.
Written in 1947, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of A Streetcar Named Desire was immortalised in the Oscar-winning 1951 film which starred Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando. Williams many other plays, considered masterpieces of the 20th century, include The Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Glenn Close's prolific career on stage and screen has won her international acclaim and many awards. Her landmark films include The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, The Natural, Jagged Edge, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Hamlet and 101 Dalmatians. On stage, her Broadway/off-Broadway credits include Rex, Barnum, The Real Thing (Tony Award), The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs (Obie Award), Benefactors, Death and the Maiden (Tony Award) and Sunset Boulevard (Tony Award).
Iain Glen makes his National Theatre debut as Stanley. His recent stage credits include The Blue Room, at the Donmar and on Broadway with Nicole Kidman, Martin Guerre (West End) and the title role in Henry V (RSC). On film, Glen has appeared in Tombraider, Fools of Fortune and Mountains of the Moon (Evening Standard Award for Best Actor).
Trevor Nunn, the outgoing artistic director of the National, previously directed Close in Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and New York. His other upcoming productions on the South Bank include the world premiere of Tom Stoppard's new trilogy The Coast of Utopia. A Streetcar Named Desire will be designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Paul Groothuis.
- by Terri Paddock