Grammy Award-winning Canadian-born rock star Alanis Morissette (pictured) will make her London stage debut in The Exonerated, the hit Off-Broadway drama about living on death row now receiving its London premiere in a 16-week run (to 11 June 2006) at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios (See News, 3 Feb 2006).

From 23 to 28 May 2006, Morissette will reprise her performance as Sunny Jacobs – a gentle hippie who spent 16 years on death row after being framed for the murder of two policemen in the mid-1970s – which she first played in 2003 during the play’s Off-Broadway run.

Commenting on The Exonerated, Morissette said: “Understanding the perspectives of these individuals, to see their tenacity and patience and humanness, was deeply moving. I feel very aligned with and uplifted by Sunny Jacobs’ courage and sense of positivity and faith. Her ability to remain in a place of love throughout all that she went through is an inspiration and guiding force to me.”

Morissette’s previous acting credits include The Vagina Monologues on stage in the US, and Dogma (in the role of God), Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm on screen. She’s best known for her rock albums including So-Called Chaos, Under Rug Swept, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and, most notably, 1995’s Jagged Little Pill, which won her four Grammy Awards and went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Other stars already confirmed to appear in the coming weeks include (See News, 23 Mar 2006): Kate Mulgrew, Henry Goodman, Mackenzie Crook, Peri Gilpin, Kristin Davis, Michael McShane and, for a one-night only charity event in aid of Reprieve, Vanessa Redgrave (4 May). The London season at Riverside Studios opened on 24 February 2006 (previews from 21 February) with American screen stars Aidan Quinn, Stockard Channing and Delroy Lindo in the cast.

The Exonerated was written in 2001 by husband-and-wife team Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, based on interviews with 40 former death row prisoners. It explores the experiences of those wrongfully imprisoned for between two and 22 years. The play was first performed in April 2002 by the Los Angeles-based Actors’ Gang, under the artistic directorship of Hollywood’s Tim Robbins, before transferring to New York. In January 2005, the stage drama was adapted for television and aired on the US’ Court TV channel, starring Quinn, Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Susan Sarandon and David Brown Jr.

- by Terri Paddock