At the Lyric Theatre, Death of a Salesman has been extended by three months, and is now booking to 5 November 2005. Robert Falls’ production, which opened at the Lyric on 16 May (previews from 10 May), was first seen in Chicago in 1998 before transferring to Broadway in 1999, where it won five Tony Awards including Best Revival, Best Direction and Best Actor for Brian Dennehy in the lead role of Willy Loman.
For the West End, Dennehy, reprising his performance, has been joined by triple Olivier Award winner Clare Higgins as wife Linda and fellow Britons Douglas Henshall and Mark Bazeley as sons Biff and Happy.
Death of a Salesman is set in New York during the 1940s and tells the story of an ageing salesman whose grasp on the reality of his life is slipping away. Through the drama of his family quarrels, the audience is given a picture of how the flaws of one generation are imprinted on the next.
The 1949 play won a Pulitzer Prize for Miller, who passed away in February at the age of 89 (See News, 11 Feb 2005). The current production is designed by Mark Wendland and presented in the West End by David Richenthal.
Meanwhile, Saturday Night Fever has added six months to its season at the Apollo Victoria, where it opened on 6 July 2004 (previews from 2 July) and is now booking until 29 April 2006. Prior to its Apollo Victoria run and extensive touring, the stage production had its world premiere at the West End's London Palladium in May 1998, marking the 21st anniversary of the release of the 1977 hit film, starring John Travolta, which effectively defined the disco age.
Set in New York in the 1970s, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of am ambitious, street-wise Brooklyn kid who wants to make it big. It features Bee Gees songs from the original Grammy Award-winning motion picture soundtrack, including 'Staying Alive', 'Night Fever', 'Jive Talkin'' and 'How Deep is Your Love' as well as two songs - 'Immortality' and 'First and Last' - written especially for the stage production.
The film, with a story by Nik Cohn and screenplay by Norman Wexler, was adapted for the stage by Nan Knighton, Arlene Philips, Paul Nicholas and Robert Stigwood. The musical currently stars Stephane Anelli as Tony Manero Rebecca Dent, one of the five winners in Channel Four’s reality TV show Musicality, as Annette.
- by Caroline Ansdell