In addition to marking Law’s much-anticipated return to the stage after several high-profile films, Dr Faustus, a co-production between the Young Vic and Natural Nylon Theatre, is distinguished by being the first project from the latter production company, formed last year by Law with fellow actors Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Sean Pertwee and Law's wife Sadie Frost.
Law and his partners announced the launch of 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 - that will 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.
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 roles in films such as Steven Spielberg's AI, Enemy at the Gates, The Talented Mr Ripley, Gattaca, Existenz, Wilde and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. His earlier stage roles include Death of a Salesman (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Ion (RSC) 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 Angels in America at the National Theatre in 1992.
- by Terri Paddock