Pike Brings Williams Summer & Smoke to West EndDate: 3 July 2006
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 10 Mar 2006), ex Bond girl Rosamund Pike (pictured) will return to the West End this autumn in a revival of Tennessee Williamsí rarely performed Summer and Smoke. Directed by former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Adrian Noble, the new production will open first at Nottingham Playhouse, where it runs from 20 September to 7 October 2006, before transferring to the West End (venue tbc) the week commencing 9 October.
Williamsí play, about unrequited love in 1916 Mississippi, has never been performed in the West End before. Alma Winemiller, the grown daughter of a minister, finds her youthful passions rekindled when the neighbourís hard-living prodigal son John Buchanan returns home and soon resumes his sinful ways.
Summer and Smoke was first mounted on Broadway in 1947, a year after A Streetcar Named Desire, and made into a 1961 film starring Geraldine Page, who created the role of Miss Alma on stage. But Williams was so unhappy with the original that he penned a major rewrite, titled Eccentricities of a Nightingale, which was staged in 1964.
On screen, Rosamund Pikeís credits include Pride and Prejudice, The Libertine, Love in a Cold Climate and Die Another Day. On stage, she played the title role in Terry Johnsonís 2003 play Hitchcock Blonde, which transferred to the West End after its premiere at the Royal Court. This month, sheís on stage, starring opposite Henry Goodman, in the London premiere of Brian Frielís Performances, which has a brief run to 15 July 2006 at Wiltonís Music Hall (See News, 9 Jun 2006).
In Summer and Smoke, Pike will play opposite American screen star and model Chris Carmack as John Buchanan. Best known as Luke Ward from the US TV series The OC, Carmackís other credits include Related and Smallville on screen and Entertaining Mr Sloane on stage in New York. He has modelled for brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch and Guess.
Summer and Smoke is designed by Peter McKintosh, with costumes by Deirdre Clancy, lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard. Itís produced by Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions.
- by Terri Paddock