Current Bond bad girl Rosamunde Pike will take the title role in the world premiere of Terry Johnson's new play Hitchcock Blonde, which opens at the Royal Court on 2 April 2003 (previews from 27 March) and continues to 10 May.

Pike stars as ice queen Miranda Frost opposite Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry in the current Bond release Die Another Day, and has been seen on television in Love in a Cold Climate, Foyle's War, Trial and Retribution and Wives and Daughters. Hitchcock Blonde will mark her London professional theatrical debut, though her previous stage credits have included Skylight, Rhinoceros, The Libertine, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, All My Sons and, for the National Youth Theatre, Romeo and Juliet.

In Hitchcock Blonde, a media lecturer and his female protégé find some deteriorated Hitchcock footage in the basement of a Spanish villa. It would appear they had discovered some early rushes, but what film were they for and who is the mysterious blonde? Though not a play about Hitchcock, he may make a cameo appearance and the Blonde will remove most of her clothing.

Johnson was most recently represented in the West End with The Graduate, which he adapted and directed. His other award-winning plays include Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, Dead Funny and, at the Royal Court, Hysteria and Cries from the Mammal House. His other directing credits include The Memory of Water (Hampstead/West End) and The Libertine (with John Malkovich in Chicago).

Hitchcock Blonde will be designed by William Dudley ( award-nominated for The Coast of Utopia - click here to vote).

- by Terri Paddock