Anderson's Night Makes Way for Courtenay's LarkinDate: 21 January 2003
What the Night Is For - starring Roger Allam and The X-Files' Gillian Anderson in her West End debut - will finish its West End run two weeks earlier than planned. The production, which opened at the Comedy Theatre to mixed reviews on 27 November 2002 (previews from 7 November), had been booking to 23 February 2003 but will now close on 9 February instead.
The two-hander will be followed by Pretending to Be Me, the Leeds transfer of Tom Courtenay's one-man show about the late poet Philip Larkin, which is expected to open for a limited eight-week season from 12 February 2003 (exact dates to be confirmed).
Pretending to Be Me, which is written and performed by Courtenay (pictured), received its world premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in November 2002, when it was coupled with WYP's production of Ben Brown's Larkin with Women. The actor's first piece of writing for the stage, the solo show is an affectionate tribute to Larkin in which Courtenay plays the poet while interspersing his own words with those of Larkin's poetry. The piece is directed by WYP artistic director Ian Brown who last worked together with Courtenay on the award-winning one-man show Moscow Stations.
Courtenay is well known for his working class film roles of the 1960s, including The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Doctor Zhivago and, most famously Billy Liar, which he also played on stage. His other stage credits include The Dresser (also on film) and the original West End cast of Art, in both of which he starred alongside his friend and contemporary Albert Finney. More recently, Courtenay has appeared on screen in Nicholas Nickleby, Last Orders and Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?.
In What the Night Is For, Melinda Metz (Anderson), a married woman, reunites with her ex-lover Adam Penzius (Allam), who's also married. He comes to her hotel room for dinner - and one passionate night of honesty and deceit, hope and regret. It's directed by John Caird and designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Paul Pyant.
- by Terri Paddock