Russell Beale Enters Deathtrap with Glee StarDate: 16 April 2010
As previously tipped, Simon Russell Beale will star in the first West End revival of Ira Levin’s 1978 comic thriller Deathtrap. He’ll be joined in director Matthew Warchus’ revamped version by Anna Massey and young American Glee heartthrob Jonathan Groff, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 7 September 2010 (previews from 21 August).
Sidney (Russell Beale) is a once-celebrated thrillers author who’s now suffering from writer's block. While waiting for inspiration, he receives a brilliant script from one of his former writing students, Clifford (Groff). The temptation is too much. With the help of his wife, Sidney plots to murder his protégé and market the young man's sure-fire thriller as his own. But, as in any good thriller, twists and turns follow in abundance.
First opened in 1978 in New York, Deathtrap went on to become Broadway's longest running thriller. That same year, it premiered in London at the West End's Garrick Theatre in a production starring Dennis Quilley and Rosemary McHale. In 1982, it was made into a film starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. Levin's other credits include Rosemary's Baby, Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil and Sliver.
Jonathan Groff’s New York stage credits include Spring Awakening and Hair. In the series of Glee about to air in the UK, he plays a student from another high school who dates Rachel from the glee club. Anna Massey returns to the stage after a 12-year absence to play Sidney’s nosey psychic neighbour Helga Ten Dorpe.
Russell Beale is currently appearing opposite Fiona Shaw in London Assurance at the National Theatre, where he is a frequent star. Deathtrap will mark a rare turn for him in the commercial West End. It’s produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers.
Currently at the Noel Coward, the West End transfer of Lucy Prebble’s Enron is booking until 14 August before returning to Chichester Festival Theatre, where it premiered last summer, and embarking on a regional tour.