Bent's Ears Closing Early in West End, 15 NovDate: 3 November 2009
Simon Bent's Prick Up Your Ears has posted early closing notices at the Comedy Theatre. The play, about the relationship between playwright Joe Orton and his lover-turned-murderer Kenneth Halliwell, had been booking until 6 December 2009, but will now finish on 15 November.
Prick Up Your Ears, which opened at the Comedy on 30 September 2009 (previews from 17 September) following a regional tour, stars Chris New as Orton and Con O'Neill as Halliwell. O'Neill only recently stepped in to replace Little Britain star Matt Lucas, who permanently withdrew from the London run following the suicide of his former civil partner Kevin McGee last month (See News, 12 Oct 2009).
The darkly comic play - inspired by Orton's diaries and the John Lahr biography of the same name (also the inspiration for Stephen Frears' 1987 film, scripted by Alan Bennett) - examines the relationship between the two writers which ended tragically in 1967 when Kenneth Halliwell bludgeoned Orton to death before committing suicide.
Bent imagines what really happened when, after years of creative collaboration, the door slammed shut and Halliwell was home alone. It tells the story behind the domestic life of the two men, holed up in a tiny flat in Islington, trading well-trodden insults and hilarious put-downs like any old married couple.
It's followed at the Comedy Theatre by The Misanthrope, in which Keira Knightley will make her stage debut playing a spoilt Hollywood film star opposite Damian Lewis in an updated version of Moliere’s 17th-century comedy (See News, 9 Oct 2009). Directed by Thea Sharrock, the production opens on 17 December 2009 (previews from 7 December), and is currently booking until 13 March 2010.