Law will play the title role in the 16th-century Dr Faustus, a co-production between Natural Nylon and the Young Vic theatre, which opens at the Young Vic on 18 March 2002 (previews from 7 March) and continues to 27 April. Christopher Marlowe's controversial and morally ambiguous classic explores the ancient tale of the man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge, wealth and power.
Law and his partners first launched the theatre arm of Natural Nylon, in January 2001, as an off-shoot of their already established film production company. A joint venture with the Ambassador Theatre Group, Natural Nylon Theatre's stated aim is to produce a range of drama - both new commissions and re-interpretations of classics - which would either star the actors themselves or utilise their expertise and contacts. They also hope to encourage crossovers between mediums, building on a tradition of British films that have originated from stage productions.
In addition to Dr Faustus, the company has committed to a new adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters, written by Christopher Hampton and directed by Sean Matthias; and a new production of The Collector, adapted by Mark Healy from the novel by John Fowles, to be directed by Mark Clements. Further details of those productions have not yet been announced.
Jude Law was last seen on stage in the 1999 production of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, also at the Young Vic. The creative team behind that production, led by director David Lan, have reunited for Dr Faustus. The production is designed by Richard Hudson, with music by Murray Gold, lighting by Matthew Richardson, sound by Crispian Covell and choreography by Kate Flatt.
Law is now best known internationally for his many film roles in major releases such as Steven Spielberg's AI, Enemy at the Gates, The Talented Mr Ripley, Gattaca, Exixtenz, Wilde and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. His earlier stage roles include Death of a Salesman (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Les Parents Terribles (National and on Broadway).
Following Dr Faustus at the Young Vic will be the European premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner's Homebody Kabul, directed by Cheek by Jowl's Declan Donnellan. This is Kushner's first major work since his acclaimed Angels in America at the National Theatre in 1992.
- by Terri Paddock