Dominic West Returns to Stage in Gray's ButleyDate: 21 February 2011
A previously tipped, The Wire star Dominic West will return to the West End stage in the title role of Simon Gray's Butley when it is revived at the Duchess Theatre from 6 June 2011 (previews from 1 June).
The 40th anniversary production, which is directed by Lindsay Posner, will also star Penny Downie and Paul McGann. Butley premiered in 1971 with Alan Bates in the title role, directed by Harold Pinter. Pinter later directed Bates in a film adaptation of the piece which was released in 1974.
The 1971 play centres on a rapier-tongued lecturer trying to cope with the strains of divorce and academia. West takes the lead in what is described in marketing material as a "razor sharp and darkly comic assault on the soft underbelly of academia".
Since Simon Gray’s death from cancer in 2008, there’s been a renaissance of his work, including the Donmar Warehouse's production of The Late Middle Classes, which was staged last summer starring Helen McCrory. Amongst Gray's 40 stage plays are The Common Pursuit, Hidden Laughter, Japes, Close of Play, The Rear Column and Cell Mates.
Dominic West will be well known to fans of HBO's The Wire having played Detective Jimmy McNulty for five seasons from 2002 to 2008. His other screen credits include The Devil’s Whore, Centurion and 300. On stage, his credits include Peter Hall's production of The Seagull at the Old Vic, As You Like It at Wyndham's Theatre, The Voysey Inheritance for the National Theatre, Tom Stoppard's Rock ‘n’ Roll and, last summer, Life Is A Dream at the Donmar Warehouse.
Penny Downie's recent stage roles include appearing opposite David Tennant in the RSC's production Hamlet and Dinner for the National Theatre. Paul McGann is best known for his role in the cult 1987 film Withnail and I in which he starred opposite Richard E Grant and as the eighth Doctor in the BBC's Doctor Who. His stage credits include Helen at Shakespeare's Globe and Mourning Becomes Electra at the National in 2003. He has also recently appeared as Mark North in the BBC television drama Luther.
Butley will have a week's run at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 25 to 28 May 2011 prior to opening in the West End. Director Lindsay Posner's West End credits include An Ideal Husband, A View from the Bridge, Fiddler on the Roof, Fool for Love, Oleanna and Death and the Maiden. The production is designed by Peter McKintosh.
Currently playing at the Duchess, the musical adaptation of Erich Segal's Love Story completes its run on 26 January 2011. Producers of the musical, including West End leading man Michael Ball, which opened on 6 December 2010 (previews from 27 November) starring Emma Williams and Michael Xavier, say they are looking forward to announcing a UK tour as well as a number of further productions of the show "to be staged worldwide".
Love Story will be followed into the Duchess by Tim Firth's new comedy Sign of the Times, which stars Matthew Kelly and Shameless’ Gerard Kearns. It opens on 11 March 2011 (previews from 7 March) and is booking to 28 May.
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