McKellen's West End Dance of Death Finishes 7 JunDate: 13 May 2003
Dance of Death - starring Ian McKellen, Frances de la Tour and Owen Teale - will close at the West End's Lyric Theatre on 7 June 2003. Sean Mathias' revival of the Strindberg drama opened on 4 March 2003 (previews from 20 February) and had been booking for a limited season to 31 May. It has now extended by a week but must finish due to McKellen's filming commitments and to make way for the transfer of Terry Johnson's Hitchcock Blonde from the Royal Court (See Today's Other News).
McKellen previously appeared in the August Strindberg play on Broadway when it opened just days after the 11 September terrorist attacks. Despite the unfortunate timing, the production - which also starred Helen Mirren and was directed by fellow Brit Sean Mathias - received critical acclaim and fared well during its four-month season. In the UK, the recast production, in a new translation by American playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain), is directed once again by Mathias.
McKellen was last seen in London in the 1997 showings of Enemy of the People and Peter Pan at the National. Since then, he has mainly been tied up with film commitments, most notably, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and X-Men and its sequel.
Multiple Olivier winner De la Tour's many stage credits include Fallen Angels, Antony and Cleopatra, The Cherry Orchard, Three Tall Women, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Duet for One. The actress is also a familiar TV face for her role in 1980s comedy Rising Damp. Prior to Dance of Death, Teale was recently seen in the title role of Ivanov at the NT Cottesloe. He won a Tony Award for A Doll's House which transferred to Broadway following a West End run and UK tour.
Dance of Death revolves around husband and wife Edgar (McKellen) and Alice who, at home in "Little Hell", are preparing for their 25th wedding anniversary when a figure from their past reappears. The production is designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Jon Driscoll and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
- by Terri Paddock