At a press conference this morning, Rob Lowe (pictured right) took his first steps onto the stage of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where he’ll make his West End debut next month in A Few Good Men. He was joined by the play’s author Aaron Sorkin - who, like Lowe, has become best known in recent years for his success with the American TV series The West Wing - as well as co-stars John Barrowman, Suranne Jones and Jack Ellis and director David Esbjornson.

A Few Good Men centres on a military court case in which Marines, stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are accused of murdering their peer but claim in defence that they were only acting under orders. A hit on Broadway in 1989, the play was made into a 1992 Hollywood film. This is the first major stage production of the piece since its Broadway run.

Speaking today, Sorkin said that, contrary to earlier speculation, the play has not been updated. “Obviously it was written before 9/11, 7/7, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and a lot of things that have informed our views of the military now,” he said, adding that, while not changed, “I think it’s going to resonate as a result of all that.”

Lowe has moved his family to London for the duration of the stage production – which has a limited 6 September to 17 December 2005 (previews from 18 August) - and both he and Sorkin, who has also flown in for rehearsals, started this week, repeatedly emphasised their enthusiasm for working in the city in the wake of this month’s terrorist activities. “I can’t think of a better place to do this play than London,” said Lowe. “I can’t think of a better theme for now than the need for or cost of protecting the world.”

The actor, who insisted he does feel safe in the city, added: “I know there’s been a tremendous cost for supporting my country’s war on terror, which is now the world’s war on terror. I appreciate it and, in my own small way, I want to pay that back.” Sorkin passed on messages from fellow Americans who’d spoken to him before his departure. “Everyone asked me to convey their prayers, support, love and empathy for this city and what it’s going through.” Lowe also said of Londoners, “We’re with you and we adore you.”

In A Few Good Men, Lowe plays rookie defence lawyer Lt Daniel Kaffee, with Jones as his colleague Lt Cdr Joanne Galloway, Barrowman as prosecutor Lt Jack Ross and Ellis as Col Nathan Jessep, the battle-hardened officer in command at Guantanamo Bay. In the film, their parts were played by Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Jack Nicholson.


Rob Lowe
Aaron Sorkin
Suranne Jones
John Barrowman
Jack Ellis