As previously tipped (See The Goss, 24 Sep 2003), the hit 2000 Broadway comedy about Mae West fans, Dirty Blonde, will finally receive its London premiere next month. The first New York cast will reprise their roles when the production, which also reunites the original creative team, opens on 16 June 2004 (previews from 8 June) at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, where it’s initially booking up to 28 August.

Created by Claudia Shear and James Lapine, who star and direct respectively, Dirty Blonde centres on two urban loners and their budding romance as they learn to discover in their own lives a bit of the swagger of Mae West, the legendary vaudeville star and Hollywood sex siren.

Shear and co-stars Kevin Chamberlin and Bob Stillman were all Tony-nominated for the New York run of Dirty Blonde, which received five Award nominations in total.

The play was originally tipped for a 2001 West End run. Instead, it – and the original trio - had its UK and European debut at the Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse in July 2002, with another planned London transfer delayed due to lack of venue availability. It’s now produced in the West End by James Hammerstein Productions in association with Darren Bagert and Nick Salmon for Act Productions.

The Duke of York’s has been dark since this past Saturday, 8 May 2004, when The Holy Terror, starring Simon Callow, closed prematurely, after a run of four weeks (See News, 26 Apr 2004).

- by Terri Paddock