As previously tipped (See The Goss, 8 Apr 2005), Val Kilmer (pictured) will join the roll call of Hollywood stars making his West End debut this spring. He’ll star in the stage adaptation of film classic The Postman Always Rings Twice, which is scheduled to open on 8 June 2005 (previews from 24 May) at the Playhouse Theatre, where it’s booking for a limited ten-week season.

Andrew Rattenbury’s stage adaptation of the American thriller had its world premiere in October at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse (See News, 22 Sep 2004), where Patrick O'Kane played the part of drifter Frank, which will now be taken by Kilmer. Charlotte Emmerson will reprise her performance as Cora, the bored wife of a 1930s roadside diner owner, whose drab existence is shaken up by Frank’s arrival.

With its mix of eroticism and violence, James M Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice caused moral outrage in the US when it was first published in 1934. Hollywood has twice filmed the steamy tale: in 1946 with Lana Turner and John Garfield; and in 1981, with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.

Kilmer’s forty-plus Hollywood films have included Batman Forever, The Saint, Tombstone, Top Gun, Willow, The Doors, True Romance and Wonderland. On stage, his numerous off-Broadway productions include The Slab Boys, Heny IV Part 1 and ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore.

British actress Emmerson has appeared on television in Foyle’s War, The Alan Clark Diaries, Peak Practice and other programmes. She’s familiar to theatregoers for her recent credits in the likes of The Cherry Orchard, The Good Hope and The Coast of Utopia at the National, as well as Baby Doll, which transferred to the National and West End after it’s initial season at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The Postman Always Rings Twice reunites Emmerson with the same creative team as Baby Doll - director Lucy Bailey and designer Bunny Christie. The new production is presented in the West End by Rupert Gavin on behalf of ATG and Maidstone Productions in association with Hilary Williams. No further casting has yet been announced.

The Playhouse Theatre has been dark since the conclusion of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Spanish Golden Age season repertory on 26 March 2005.

- by Terri Paddock