Stewart's The Master Builder Opens at Albery in JuneDate: 17 April 2003
Anthony Page's revival of Ibsen's The Master Builder, starring Patrick Stewart in the title role, has now confirmed its summer West End season (See News, 31 Mar 2003). Following a brief regional tour to Malvern, Bath and Guildford, the production will open for a limited ten-week run at the Albery Theatre the week commencing 9 June 2003.
One of Henrik Ibsen's later works, the 1892 play tells the story of Halvard Solness, a renowned but aging builder, whose obsession with building tall spires for his new house is matched by his fear of younger rivals. Coincidentally, the piece shares a character, Hilde Wangel, with Ibsen's 1888 play The Lady from the Sea, which will also receive a high-profile production next month, starring Natasha Richardson, care of Trevor Nunn as the opener for Michael Attenborough's inaugural season at the Almeida Theatre.
Patrick Stewart is best known internationally for his sci-fi screen roles in the likes of Star Trek and X Men, but he's also a classically trained actor and an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he's played such Shakespearean roles as King John, Shylock, Henry IV, Cassius, Titus Andronicus, Oberon, Leontes and Enobarbus.
His other stage credits include The Tempest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and, in the US, his one-man adaptation of Dickens' The Christmas Carol. In 2001, Stewart returned to his Yorkshire roots to star in the West Yorkshire Playhouse production of JB Priestley's rarely performed Johnson Over Jordan.
For The Master Builder, Stewart is joined by Sue Johnston, well known for her UK television roles in The Royle Family, Waking the Dead, Goodbye Cruel World and Brookside. Also in the cast are Edward De Souza, Lisa Dillion and Katherine Manners.
Director Anthony Page's many previous stage productions include the multi award-winning revival of Ibsen's A Doll's House with Janet McTeer, which transferred to Broadway following its West End season. The Master Builder is newly translated by John Logan, whose film writing credits include Gladiator and Star Trek.
The production is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with costumes by Deirdre Clancy and lighting by Howard Harrison. It's presented by Duncan C Weldon and Paul Elliott for Triumph Entertainment.
NOTE: Booking for the West End season has not yet opened. Exact dates for previews and press night are still to be confirmed.
- by Terri Paddock