1st Night Photos: West End Piaf & Royal Court FacesDate: 22 October 2008
Two contrasting productions bowed in Theatreland last night – the Donmar Warehouse revival of Pam Gems’ Piaf starring Elena Roger (pictured, centre) transferred to the West End’s Vaudeville theatre, while at the Royal Court, Leo Butler’s intimate new play Faces in the Crowd opened in the reconfigured Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.
Piaf, which tells the story of the legendary Parisian songbird Edith Piaf, was first staged in 1978 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the same address as the Donmar (when the space was known as the Warehouse), starring Jane Lapotaire in the title role, and revived in the West End in 1993 with Elaine Paige. In the new Donmar production, Roger is joined in the cast by Shane Attwooll, Phillip Browne, Lorraine Bruce, Luke Evans, Michael Hadley, Katherine Kingsley, Leon Lopez and Steve John Shepherd.
Roger made her West End debut in 2006 playing another 20th-century female icon, fellow Argentine Eva Peron, in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita, directed at the Adelphi Theatre, next door to the Vaudeville, by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage, whose associate at the time, Jamie Lloyd, now helms Piaf. The cast and production team were joined at last night’s press performance by guests including Tom Hollander, Jodie Prenger, Neil Stuke, Charlotte Westenra, Imogen Lloyd Webber and David Bedella. For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the curtain call and after-show party at the National Gallery Café.
TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF PIAF’ 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
Piaf runs until 24 January 2009, in contrast to the strictly limited season of last night’s other major opening, Leo Butler’s Faces in the Crowd, which finishes at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs on 8 November. The Theatre Upstairs has been specially reconfigured to enable the audience to view the action, which centres around the dysfunctional relationship of an ex-married couple with differing agendas, from a bird’s-eye perspective.
Faces in the Crowd stars Con O'Neill and Amanda Drew as the warring couple, and is helmed by Clare Lizzimore, who directed Amy Rosenthal’s On the Rocks, also on the subject of a troubled relationship, at Hampstead earlier this year. For 1st Night Photos, our photographer Dan Wooller managed to make it along to last night’s cast party at the Court, where guests included Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Nick Moran.
TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF FACES IN THE CROWD’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,