Suddenly Names London Summer Dates at AlberyDate: 24 March 2004
As previously reported (See News, 25 Feb 2004 & The Goss, 13 Nov 2003), Michael Grandage’s Sheffield production of Suddenly Last Summer, starring Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton, will transfer to the West End’s Albery Theatre in May. Dates for the limited ten-week season are now confirmed for 14 May to 31 July 2004 (previews from 6 May).
The revival of Tennessee Williams’ 1958 psycho-drama opened last month at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre, where it ran from 12 to 28 February 2004 ahead of a regional tour to Malvern, Edinburgh, Salford, Norwich, Plymouth and concluding in Newcastle on 17 April 2004.
Sebastian died suddenly last summer and his distraught mother Mrs Venables wants revenge on Catharine, the girl she holds responsible. In 1959, Suddenly Last Summer was memorably made into a film starring Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. The play was last seen in the West End in 1999, ironically in a Donmar Warehouse-backed production, starring Rachel Weisz and Sheila Gish.
Rigg, who plays Mrs Venables, was most recently seen on stage in Humble Boy at the National, where her other credits include Mother Courage, Phaedra and The Misanthrope. Among her West End highlights are Pygmalion, Follies and the Almeida’s Medea (also in New York) for which she won the Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Actress. Her screen credits include Evil Under the Sun, On Her Majesty's Secret Serviceand The Avengers.
Last year, Hamilton, who plays Catharine, returned to the UK from Broadway where she was nominated for her own Best Actress Tony for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which, during its West End run, won her the 2002 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress. Her other recent stage credits have included As You Like It, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida and Home and Beauty and, just finished in the West End, Sweet Panic with Jane Horrocks.
The two women are joined by Mark Bazeley (Macbeth, Homebody/Kabul, The Real Thing) as Doctor Cukrowicz. Also in the cast are Virginia Denham, Abigail McKern, Jennifer McEvoy and Patrick Kennedy. Christopher Oram designs, with lighting by Howard Harrison and music by Adam Cork.
Grandage, an associate director of Sheffield Theatres as well as artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, won this year’s Best Director Olivier for his Donmar production of Caligula (See News, 22 Feb 2004). Last year, his Sheffield Crucible production of The Tempest, starring Derek Jacobi, transferred to the West End’s Old Vic.
At the Albery, Suddenly Last Summer will follow Matthew Warchus’ revival of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, starring Michael Gambon and Lee Evans. It opened on 10 March 2004 (previews from 25 February) and is now due to complete its limited season on 1 May. The Williams play is presented in the West End by Duncan C Weldon and Paul Elliott for Triumph Entertainment Ltd.
- by Terri Paddock