Cambridge Premieres Pearl Earring Pre-West EndDate: 22 July 2008
The stage version of Tracy Chevalierís best-selling novel The Girl With a Pearl Earring, which has already been adapted for the big screen, will receive its world premiere this autumn at the Cambridge Arts Theatre where it will run from 11 to 20 September 2008, ahead of a planned West End transfer.
Chevalierís 1999 historical novel was inspired by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeerís masterpiece of the same name (pictured). In the fictional story, Vermeer hires the teenage girl Griet to help in his house. But itís not long before she becomes more than just a servant: she starts to help him in his studio, learning the art of painting by watching the master. And then, secretly, Vermeer begins to paint her, asking her to pose for his most famous portrait.
In the 2003 Hollywood film, Scarlett Johansson starred as Griet with Colin Firth as Vermeer. In Shelagh Stephensonís stage version, the parts are taken by Kimberley Nixon and Adrian Dunbar. Nixon was most recently seen on TV as Sophy Hutton in Cranford and in the current film release Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Irish actor Adrian Dunbar is perhaps best known for 1991ís highly acclaimed Hear My Song, which he also co-wrote, earning a BAFTA nomination. His many other screen credits include the films My Left Foot, The Crying Game and The General and Cracker, Whistleblowers and Suspicion on television. He made his West End debut last year in Sixties sex farce Boeing-Boeing.
Playwright Shelagh Stephensonís own original plays include The Memory of Water, Five Kinds of Silence, Mappa Mundi and An Experiment With an Air Pump. The Girl With a Pearl Earring is presented by Andrew Welch, who recently revived Shadowlands in the West End with Charles Dance and Janie Dee. No West End dates or venue has yet been confirmed for the new production.
- by Terri Paddock