1st Night Photos: Penelope Cruz About AlmodóvarDate: 5 September 2007
Penelope Cruz (pictured right) and Cecilia Roth, stars of the Oscar-winning 1999 Spanish film All About My Mother, were on hand, along with filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, to see their characters recreated in Samuel Adamson’s English-language stage adaptation of the piece, which had its world premiere last night (4 September 2007, previews from 25 August) at the West End’s Old Vic where its limited season continues until 24 November (See News, 21 Jun 2007).
Following the tragic death of her beloved teenage son Esteban, Manuela (Roth’s character, played on stage by Lesley Manville) goes to Barcelona in search of the father he never knew. But before she can exorcise her guilt, she gets caught up in the lives of three women: Agrado, a long-lost transvestite friend; Sister Rosa (Cruz’s role, now taken by Joanne Froggatt), a young nun in search of love; and Huma Rojo, the famous actress her son so admired. Just as Manuela’s life begins to have meaning again, her son’s father returns and her journey of discovery and forgiveness comes full circle.
The Old Vic cast also stars Dame Diana Rigg (as Huma Rojo), The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss (Agrado), Charlotte Randle (Nina Cruz) and Colin Morgan (Esteban). Tom Cairns’ premiere production marks the first major Almodóvar stage adaptation in 20 years and the first time ever that the Spanish filmmaker has consented to his work being produced in English.
The project to adapt All About My Mother for the stage began in 2002 when Australian-born producer Daniel Sparrow approached Almodóvar’s film company El Deseo with the idea. The Old Vic and Sam Mendes’ company Neal Street Productions came on board as co-producers two years ago.
For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at the Sanderson Hotel with members of the company and production team. Other first night guests included Gillian Anderson, Derren Brown, Eve Best, Nick Moran, Louisa Clein, James Corden, Angus Jackson, drag queens Bianca Black and Amber Swallows, and Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey.
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