NT Jumpers Follows Noises Off to Piccadilly Post-TourDate: 18 August 2003
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 8 Aug 2003), the National Theatre revival of Tom Stoppard's farce Jumpers will transfer to the West End later this year, following a short tour. It will open at the Piccadilly Theatre on 20 November 2003 (previews from 14 November), initially booking to 6 March 2003.
Premiered at the Old Vic in 1972, Jumpers revolves around moral philosopher George Moore who struggles to determine the existence of God in the shadow of the moon landing, while his former diva wife Dottie may or may not be hiding a lover and a corpse in the ballroom. Mental gymnastics, a pyramid of acrobats and a specially trained tortoise all figure.
The new National Theatre production opened on 19 June 2003 (previews 7 June) at the NT Lyttelton. It continues in repertory to 9 September 2003 and then embarks on a brief regional tour - running from 16 September to 4 October and taking in Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Sheffield – before returning to the South Bank from 10 October to 7 November prior to its transfer. In the West End, multiple Olivier award winner Simon Russell Beale (most recently seen in the West End in Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night at the Donmar and in Humble Boy, another NT transfer) will recreate his role as George Moore.
Others in the NT cast - which includes Essie Davis, Jonathan Hyde and Nicholas Woodeson - are also expected to make the move. The production is directed by David Leveaux and designed by Vicki Mortimer, with lighting by Paule Constable, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, music by Corin Buckeridge and choreography by Aidan Treays.
The Piccadilly is currently home to yet another National production, Michael Frayn's backstage farce Noises Off, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. Jeremy Sams' revival opened in October 2000 at the National before a tour and an extended 2001/2002 season at the West End, at first the Piccadilly and then the Comedy theatres. In January 2003, it launched a six-month tour, culminating earlier this month with a return to the Piccadilly, where it's booking to 18 October 2003 (See News, 11 Jul 2003). The current cast features Cheryl Campbell, Paul Bradley, Philip Franks and Sylvester McCoy.
- by Terri Paddock