Pearl Earring Posts Early Closing Notices, 18 OctDate: 7 October 2008
The stage version of Tracy Chevalierís best-selling novel The Girl With a Pearl Earring has posted early closing notices at the West Endís Theatre Royal Haymarket. Following out-of-town dates, it opened on 29 September 2008 (previews from 24 September) at the Haymarket, where it had been booking until 1 November (See Review Round-up, 1 Oct 2008). It will now finish a fortnight earlier, on 18 October.
Chevalierís 1999 historical novel was inspired by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeerís masterpiece of the same name. 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 version, Scarlett Johansson starred as Griet with Colin Firth as Vermeer. In the stage version, the parts are taken by Kimberley Nixon and Adrian Dunbar. The cast also features Sara Kestelman (as Maria Thins), Niall Buggy (Van Ruijven) and Lesley Vickerage (Catherina), who are joined by Maggie Service, Jonathan Bailey and Flora Spencer-Longhurst. The stage adaptation is written by David Joss Buckley.
The premiere production, which was first seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre in early September, is directed by Joe Dowling, with set and lighting by Peter Mumford, costumes by Fotini Dimou, sound by Matt McKenzie and original music by Christopher Gunning. Itís produced by Brian Eastman and Andrew Welch.
The next production scheduled for the Haymarket is a new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevensonís Treasure Island (See News, 4 Sep 2008), which runs for a Christmas season from 17 November 2008 (previews from 7 November) to 28 February 2009. Keith Allen makes his West End debut playing pirate Long John Silver in Sean Holmesí production, which is also produced by Eastman and Welch.
- by Terri Paddock