Postlethwaite Prospers in Manchester’s TempestDate: 26 October 2006
Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre has announced the second half of its 30th anniversary season (See News, 8 May 2006), which will feature two world premieres, a modern American classic, tales of gender-bending in 18th-century France and the return Pete Postlethwaite (pictured) to the stage.
The spring 2007 schedule starts with Edward Albee's 1962 modern American classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which was revived earlier this year in the West End, where Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin starred. Martha and George are a bitter, erudite couple, who invite a new college professor and his wife to their home after a faculty party. Long-buried resentment and rage are unleashed in a whirl of verbal sparring, and by the night's end, the secrets of both couples are uncovered and the lies they cling to are dramatically exposed. The new Exchange production, directed by Sarah Frankcom, runs from 19 March to 21 April 2007 (previews from 14 March).
It’s followed by Pierre Marivaux’s 1732 comedy The Triumph of Love, running from 30 April to 19 May 2007 (previews from 24 April). It’s described as the 18th-century equivalent of a Joe Orton comedy, with sexually charged with cross-dressing princesses, mistaken identity and misplaced desires. It’s directed by joint artistic director Braham Murray, who has also adapted the play with Katherine Sand.
Pete Postlethwaite returns to Manchester to play magician Prospero in The Tempest, directed by joint artistic director Greg Hersov, who last worked with Postlethwaite in the venue’s 25th anniversary revival of Pinter’s The Homecoming. The Tempest runs from 29 May to 7 July 2007 (previews from 23 May).
Best known internationally for his roles in films such as In the Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects, Brassed Off and The Shipping News, Postlethwaite’s many stage credits include Richard II, The Good Person of Sichuan, Funny Peculiar, The Recruiting Officer, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and, most recently, 2002’s Scaramouche Jones, for which he won Best Solo Performance in the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
As part of the Manchester International Festival, the Exchange’s season concludes with two new plays, the winners of the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. Ben Musgrave’s Pretend You Have Big Buildings, about growing up in Romford in 1994, is co-directed by Jo Combes and Sarah Frankcom and runs in the main house from 12 July to 4 August 2007 (preview 11 July). Duncan Macmillan’s Monster, centring on a couple’s whose relationship is disrupted by a violent student of the teacher husband, is in the Studio from 29 June to 7 July 2007 (previews from 20 June).
- by Caroline Ansdell & Terri Paddock