Amanda Donohoe will follow in the footsteps of Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner and Texan model Jerry Hall baring all on stage at the Gielgud Theatre. From tonight, Donohoe takes over from Hall as Mrs Robinson in Terry Johnson’s stage adaptation of The Graduate. The official opening for the new cast – which also includes Andres Williams (as Benjamin) and Coral Beed (as Elaine Robinson) – is Wednesday, 21 February 2001.

Donohoe is best known for her television and film roles, including LA Law (for which she won a Golden Globe Award), Liar Liar, The Madness of King George, The Rainbow and Castaway. Her theatre work includes Uncle Vanya on Broadway and, most recently in the West End, the 1997 production of Snoo Wilson’s HRH, about the post-abdication exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Williams recently appeared in the Theatre Clwyd production of Twelfth Night while Beed's work on television includes A Rather English Marriage and The Bill.

The part of Mrs Robinson was first made famous by Anne Bancroft in Mike Nichols' 1967 film (which also starred Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross) about a young man who has an affair with an older woman and then falls in love with her daughter.

Turner originated the role on stage last April and caused a sensation when she appeared naked in one – albeit brief and dimly lit – scene. Hall followed suit in August, boosting ticket sales and an extended booking period though her performance received generally poor reviews from the critics.

The stage play is written by Terry Johnson, adapted from the original novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Johnson also directs, with design by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Mike Walker. The Graduate is produced in the West End by John Reid and Sacha Brooks.

The production is currently booking to 7 April 2001.

- by Terri Paddock