As previously tipped (See The Goss, 13 Nov 2003), Michael Grandage’s production of Tennessee Williams’ 1958 psycho-drama Suddenly Last Summer, starring Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton, will transfer to the West End this spring. Just opened last week at the Sheffield Lyceum (See News, 15 Oct 2003), the revival have a limited season at London’s Albery Theatre from 14 May 2004, following a regional tour.

Earlier this week, Grandage (See News, 22 Feb 2004), an associate director of Sheffield Theatres as well as artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, won the Best Director Olivier for his Donmar production of Caligula. Last year, his Sheffield Crucible production of The Tempest, starring Derek Jacobi and Daniel Evans, transferred to the West End’s Old Vic.

Sebastian died suddenly last summer and his distraught mother wants revenge on the girl she holds responsible. In 1959, Suddenly Last Summer was memorably made into a film starring Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. The play was last seen in the West End in 1999, ironically in a Donmar Warehouse-backed production, starring Rachel Weisz and Sheila Gish.

Rigg was most recently seen on stage in Humble Boy at the National, where her other credits include Mother Courage, Phaedra and The Misanthrope. Among her West End highlights are Pygmalion, Follies and the Almeida’s Medea (also in New York) for which she won the Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Actress. Her screen credits include Evil Under the Sun, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and, of course The Avengers.

Last year, Hamilton returned to the UK from Broadway where she was nominated for her own Best Actress Tony for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which, during its West End run, won her the 2002 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress. Her other recent stage credits have included As You Like It, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida and Home and Beauty and, just finished in the West End, Sweet Panic with Jane Horrocks.

Suddenly Last Summer is designed by Christopher Oram, with lighting by Howard Harrison and music by Adam Cork. The cast also features Mark Bazeley, Virginia Denham, Abigail McKern, Jennifer McEvoy and Patrick Kennedy.

The production finishes in Sheffield on 28 February and then continues on tour until 17 April 2004, calling at Malvern, Edinburgh, Salford, Norwich, Plymouth and Newcastle.

Meanwhile at the Albery, Matthew Warchus’ revival of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, starring Michael Gambon and Lee Evans, begins previews tomorrow (25 February), before opening on 10 March 2004 for a strictly limited season to 24 April.

- by Terri Paddock