Fresh from winning three Best Director gongs (at the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards) for his Patrick Stewart-headed Macbeth, Rupert Goold’s new UK production, the European premiere of American Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, opened last night (3 April 2008, previews from 28 March) at the Almeida Theatre, where it runs until to 10 May (See Also Today’s Review Round-up).

In the comic courtroom drama, history’s most infamous betrayal is dissected by the forces of good and evil. Figures such as Pontius Pilate, Mother Theresa and Sigmund Freud are called to testify in a trial of God and the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth versus Judas Iscariot in a court that owes as much to the ghetto as the Gospels. The cast includes Joseph Mawle (pictured, right) in the title role and Edward Hogg (left) as Jesus.

Mawle will be familiar to many TV fans for his portrayal of Jesus in the recent BBC mini-series The Passion. In a recent interview with the Independent, the actor said that this coincidental role reversal "was not planned", and described it, in rather understated terms, as "quite an interesting combination".

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT's 1st NIGHT PHOTOS, JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

A longtime member of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s New York LAByrinth Theatre Company, Stephen Adly Guirgis is best known in this country for his critically acclaimed Jesus Hopped the A Train, which transferred from the Donmar Warehouse to the West End in 2002. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was first seen at New York’s Public Theatre in 2005.

The Headlong Theatre production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot reunites Rupert Goold with his Macbeth creative team: designer Anthony Ward, lighting designer Howard Harrison and sound designer Adam Cork. The ensemble cast also features Douglas Henshall (as Satan), Susan Lynch, Gawn Grainger, Joseph Mawle, Dona Croll, Corey Johnson, Amanda Boxer and Mark Lockyer.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at the Almeida Theatre along with the company and other first night guests including Nigel Lindsay, David Babani, Fiona Laird, Ray Fearon and Carey Mulligan.

-by Terri Paddock & Theo Bosanquet