Edge was first seen in New York last year in a production by the Franklin Group and The Mirror Theatre Ltd, a company co-founded by Torn’s mother, the actress Geraldine Page. Torn’s other stage credits have included, in New York, Anna Christie (with her own father Rip Torn), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Side Man, which transferred to the West End.
Alexander also wrote Rough Magic, the 1991 biography of Plath, which was approved by the late poet’s estate. Plath is best remembered for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, as well as her poems, her marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes and her untimely death by suicide in 1963, aged 30. In Sylia, a new film about the couple’s ill-fated romance, Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig play Plath and Hughes.
In other fringe transfer news, the San Francisco-based Riot Group’s Pugilist Specialist, which finishes its limited season at Soho Theatre on 7 February, will return to London for another three weeks at the end of its previously announced UK tour (See News, 14 Jan 2004). The drama, about the American military’s hunt for evil in foreign lands, transfers to west London’s Riverside Studios from 20 April to 8 May 2004. Written and directed by 24-year-old Adriano Shaplin, who also performs in the four-strong ensemble, Pugilist Specialist is produced by Louise Chantal. It receives its New York premiere in September.
Meanwhile, another fringe play inspired by current affairs in the Middle East, Justin Butcher’s A Weapons Inspector Calls, a satirical sequel to last year’s The Madness of George Dubya transferred this month from Theatro Technis to the Pleasance Theatre, where it concludes on 31 January 2004 (See News, 3 Dec 2003).
And, at Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre, the South African musical Kat and the Kings (pictured), by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen, has extended its booking period by a month (See News, 1 May 2003). When it received its UK premiere at the Tricycle in 1997, the show - which follows the fortunes of a mixed-race band in 1957 apartheid-era Cape Town - was the first South African musical to open in London since the advent of black majority rule in its native country. It later transferred to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre, scooping 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical as well as Best Actor in a Musical which, uniquely, was awarded to the entire South African cast.
This recast return of Kat and the Kings opened on 16 December 2003 (previews from 10 December) and had been booking to 8 February. It will now continue to 6 March 2004
- by Terri Paddock