The play, which originally premiered at Hampstead in 1979, marks the first time that the theatre and filmmaker Leigh has returned to one of his works. The revival opened on 15 March 2011 (previews from 10 March) at Hampstead, where it continues until 9 April, the final production in Edward Hall’s inaugural season as artistic director
Ecstasy centres on a group of old friends who come together in a Kilburn bed-sit, with the Winter of Discontent just over and Margaret Thatcher’s regime about to transform the country.
The cast features Sinead Matthews (who has worked with Leigh on the films Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky), Sian Brooke, Daniel Coonan, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Allen Leech and Craig Parkinson. The production is designed by Alison Chitty, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by John Leonard.
Currently at the Duchess, Tim Firth’s two-hander Sign of the Times, starring Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns, has posted early closing notices for 2 April 2011, having opened on 11 March (previews from 7 March). The theatre’s next production will be the 40th anniversary revival of Simon Gray's Butley, starring Dominic West, which opens on 6 June 2011 (previews from 1 June).