As previously tipped (See News, 19 Jan 2004 & The Goss, 4 Nov 2003), Simon Gray’s The Holy Terror - which stars Simon Callow and is directed by Laurence Boswell, the first offering from his new production company – will transfer to the West End next month. It opens on 14 April 2004 (previews from 8 April) at the Duke of York’s.

Arrogant, manipulative and cunning, Mark Melon reigns supreme as king of the publishing jungle, where nothing stops a good story and ever more profitable book rights. But it’s tough at the top, and when inner demons get hold, his fall from grace is of majestic proportions.

The play was originally seen, under the title Melon, in 1987 at the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Gray's long-time collaborator, the late Alan Bates, starred. The author later revised it for a Broadway run in 1989. Gray’s many other plays include Quartermaine’s Terms, Otherwise Engaged, Japes and The Late Middle Classes.

As an actor, Callow's other recent stage credits include Through the Leaves, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Chimes at Midnight, while his numerous films including Shakespeare In Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, A Room with a View and Howard's End. Last year, he also directed the Tommy Cooper tribute, Jus' Like That, in the West End.

In The Holy Terror cast, Callow is joined by Robin Soans (as Gladstone), Geraldine Alexander, Beverley Klein, Tom Beard, Matt Canavan and Lydia Fox.

The production has just this past weekend completed a regional tour, which started in Brighton and called at Richmond, Woking, Milton Keynes, Malvern and Bath (See News, 19 Jan 2004). In addition to being the first project from Boswell’s new company stable, The Holy Terror marks the producing debut of Theatre Royal Brighton Productions, which aims to mount three new shows each year for touring and West End transfers.

Boswell’s other recent credits include Up for Grabs, This Is Our Youth, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Popcorn and, for the Royal Shakespeare Company where he’s an associate director, Beauty and the Beast. The Gray play is designed by Es Devlin.

At the Duke of York’s, The Holy Terror follows Edward Hall’s premiere production of Michael Hastings’ Calico which stars Romola Garai and Imelda Staunton. It has posted early closing notices for 3 April 2004, after a run of one month (See Today’s Other News).

- by Terri Paddock