Laurence Boswell’s new production of The Holy Terror has posted early closing notices at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre. The Simon Gray play, which stars Simon Callow, opened on 14 April 2004 (following a six-week regional tour and previews from 8 April) and had been booking through to August. It will now finish on 8 May.

The Holy Terror is the second play in a row to close after just four weeks at the Duke of York’s. Edward Hall’s premiere production of Michael Hastings’ Calico - which also boasted an impressive cast, including Imelda Staunton and young screen star Romola Garai – opened on 3 March and closed on 3 April, eight weeks earlier than planned (See News, 22 Mar 2004).

In The Holy Terror, Callow plays Mark Melon, the arrogant, manipulative and cunning king of the publishing jungle. But it’s tough at the top, and when inner demons get hold, his fall from grace is of majestic proportions.

Callow is joined in the cast by Robin Soans, Geraldine Alexander, Beverley Klein, Tom Beard, Matt Canavan and Lydia Fox. The production is designed by Es Devlin and presented by Theatre Royal Brighton Productions. It’s the debut project for the latter, which aims to mount three new shows each year for touring and West End transfers.

The Holy Terror 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.

No further shows have yet been announced for the Duke of York’s.

- by Terri Paddock