As previously tipped (See The Goss, 22 Jul 2003), Frederick Knott's thriller Wait Until Dark will return to the West End this autumn, opening at the Garrick Theatre on 15 October 2003 (previews from 30 September). It will be the first West End revival since the play's 1966 London premiere with Honor Blackman.

However, contrary to original plans, the production will not act as a West End vehicle for television actress Samantha Janus, star of Strange, Game On, Babes in the Wood and Liverpool One. She's been replaced - for both the transfer and the initial regional dates, from 16 to 27 September at the Theatre Royal Windsor - by Saskia Wickham, who'll be joined by her Peak Practice TV co-star Gary Mavers as well as stage veteran Peter Bowles, last seen in the West End last year in another classic thriller, Sleuth.

In Wait Until Dark, Sam Henderson's innocent offer to deliver a doll to a sick child sparks off a frightening series of events. Three conmen, led by the mysterious Roat (Bowles) will stop at nothing to get the doll's secret cargo, but they aren't prepared for the ingenuity of Sam's blind wife, Susy (Wickham).

First seen on Broadway in 1966, the play's premiere production starred Lee Remick and Robert Duvall while Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino signed up for the 1998 revival. The first London production ran for two years. In 1968, Wait Until Dark was made into a film starring Audrey Hepburn, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Susy. Frederick Knott also wrote Dial M for Murder, which was famously made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock.

Wait Until Dark is directed by Joe Harmston and designed by Paul Farnsworth, with lighting by Nick Richings. The cast also includes Robert Fitch (as Sam), Tony Scannell, Bettrys Jones, Bill French and Justine Deaville. The production is presented by Bill Kenwright.

- by Terri Paddock