Originally premiered as Aristo at Chichester Festival in September 2008, the play has been substantially rewritten and is now rebranded as Onassis. The new version will premiere at Derby Theatre, which only reopened in 2009 after the administration and closure of Derby Playhouse. It will run there from 10 to 25 September 2010, ahead of a West End transfer – though no London dates or venue have yet been announced.
Sherman’s play is based on the last years in the life of Onassis, including his complex connections and interwoven relationships with Jackie Kennedy, widow of president John F Kennedy, singer Maria Callas and his son Alexandros.
At Chichester, Lindsay was joined by Elizabeth McGovern as Jackie Kennedy and Diana Quick as Callas, but Onassis will be newly cast around Lindsay. The production is directed, once again, by Nancy Meckler and presented by Derby Live in association with Chichester Festival Theatre.
Onassis returns Lindsay to Derbyshire, where he was born in Ilkeston. Though a household name for his TV roles in the likes of Citizen Smith, GBH, Hornblower and My Family, Lindsay revisits the stage every few years, with wide-ranging credits including musicals Oliver! and Me and My Girl, for which he won an Olivier and a Tony Award, as well as classic plays such as Richard III, Becket, Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac, Power and, most recently in the West End, the 50th anniversary revival of John Osborne’s The Entertainer at the Old Vic.