A co-production between Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre and the National, Gagarin Way premiered at last year's Edinburgh Festival where it scooped the overall award amongst the Scotsman's Fringe Firsts. It had a limited sell-out run at the NT Cottesloe in October and returned to the repertory in December for another season which ended on 31 January.
The dark comedy takes place one bloody night when a pair of leftist factory workers kidnap a company executive in order to save jobs and make a political statement. Their plans are complicated by the presence of a bumbling young security guard.
Producer Kevin Wallace is now planning to take Gagarin Way to New York and has made applications to US Equity to take the Scottish cast with the production. Commenting on Gagarin Way's premature closure in the West End, he said: "In hindsight, it would seem that the remaining audience in London after extended runs at the National was probably more realistically an eight-week rather than a ten-week season."
Jesus Hopped the A Train received rave reviews following its London premiere in March as part of the Donmar Warehouse's five-month American Imports season. The Labyrinth Theater production is directed by Hollywood actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, The Talented Mr Ripley). It has already proved a big hit Off-Broadway and at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival where it won a Fringe First at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival.
Jesus Hopped the A Train tells the story of two convicted murderers who, while in protective custody, struggle with who they are and what they've done. Its original American cast includes John Ortiz and Salvatore Inzerillo. It will have a limited eight-week season at the Arts Theatre.
- by Terri Paddock