1st Night Photos: Magical Redgrave & Crimp’s CityDate: 1 May 2008
The hankies were on standby for the UK premiere last night (30 April 2008, previews from 25 April) of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s poignant one-woman play based on her autobiographical book about bereavement and performed by Vanessa Redgrave at the National Theatre, where it runs in rep in the NT Lyttelton until 5 July 2008 ahead of a national and international tour.
The American author’s first play is based on her autobiographical book of the same name about bereavement. John Gregory Dunne, Didion’s husband of 39 years, died in 2003, followed just two years later by their daughter. The stage adaptation of The Year of Magical Thinking premiered in March 2007 at Broadway’s Booth Theater, where it ran for five months and earned Redgrave a Best Actress nomination at last year’s Tony Awards.
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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the curtain call of The Year of Magical Thinking. As in New York, the UK production is directed by British playwright David Hare, whose own latest play, The Vertical Hour, received its UK premiere at the Royal Court in January.
The night before (29 April 2008, previews from 24 April), Wooller was in Sloane Square for the world premiere of Martin Crimp’s new comic mystery The City, which runs in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs until 7 June (See News, 4 Mar 2008).
Three characters fight to make sense of a surreal and collapsing world: Chris wants to celebrate his new job by driving into the oncoming traffic; Clair wants to be kissed - but not now - and certainly not by her husband; and Jenny arrives to complain about the screaming children, but the garden's empty, and the key to the playroom's disappeared. Just what strange game is being played here?
The three leads are played, respectively, by Benedict Cumberbatch, Hattie Morahan and Amanda Hale. Also in the cast are Ruby Douglas and Matilda Castrey. Katie Mitchell directs. Other first night guests for The City included author Martin Crimp, Zawe Ashton, Indhu Rubasingham and Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke.
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