Gambon Joins Cast for New Churchill Number DatesDate: 9 August 2002
Michael Gambon, shortlisted by theatregoers in Whatsonstage.com's current Big Debate poll as one of "Today's Greatest" stage actors, will join young British screen star Daniel Craig in the world premiere of Caryl Churchill's new play, A Number, directed by Stephen Daldry at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs next month.
In order to accommodate Gambon's hectic schedule, the dates for A Number have been slightly delayed. It will now run from 26 September to 16 November 2002 (previews from 23 September), rather than 18 September to 2 November as originally announced.
A veteran stage actor, Gambon was one of the original members of the National Theatre Company under Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic. Recent West End appearances have included, in the West End, The Caretaker, Cressida, The Unexpected Man, Tom and Clem and A View from the Bridge, for which he won the Best Actor Olivier. Gambon's television credits include Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective, for which he won many awards, and on film, he has recently appeared in Gosford Park, Dancing at Lughnasa, Sleepy Hollow and The Insider.
Craig's film and television credits include Tomb Raider, Some Voices, The Trench, Elizabeth, Love Is the Devil, Moll Flanders, Our Friends in the North and the upcoming release of Sam Mendes' The Road to Perdition. On stage, he has previously appeared in Angels in America (National) and Hurly Burly (Peter Hall at the Old Vic).
A Number revolves around Bernard (Craig), who has come to tell his father Salter (Gambon) some shocking news. But who exactly is Bernard and what will happen to him when he finds out?
Daldry and Churchill last teamed up on the Olivier-nominated Far Away, which transferred to the West End following its Royal Court premiere. One of Britain's leading contemporary playwrights, Churchill's other plays include Top Girls, Serious Money, Cloud Nine, Skriker and Blue Heart. Former Royal Court artistic director, Daldry's stage credits include An Inspector Calls and David Hare's Via Dolorosa; he made his film directorial debut with the award-winning Billy Elliot.
To coincide with the premiere of A Number, the Royal Court will also present performances and rehearsed readings of several rarely seen Churchill plays, including This Is a Chair, Identical Twins, Seagulls and Moving Clocks Go Slow.
The production is followed by Anthony Neilson's The Lying Kind, which is scheduled to run at the Royal Court Downstairs from 26 November 2002 (previews from 21 November). Constables Blunt and Gobbel have one last duty before they can go home for Christmas - telling the old couple at No. 58 some terrible news. Neilson's previous plays at the Royal Court include The Censor and Penetrator.
- by Terri Paddock