Two American icons will converge on the Old Vic in February 2006 when legendary filmmaker Robert Altman (pictured) directs the UK premiere of one of the last plays written by Arthur Miller, who died this past February (See News, 11 Feb 2005). One of the highlights of Kevin Spacey’s second season as Old Vic artistic director – the full details of which are announced today (See Today's Other News) - Resurrection Blues will open on 22 February (previews from 14 February) for a limited season to 22 April 2006.

Resurrection Blues had its world premiere at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater in 2002, but Miller continued to work on it, completing the revised version of the script just a month before his death.

A satire of cultural commercialisation, global politics and media saturation, the play is set in an unnamed South American country where a young rebel heralded as a messiah is gathering support from the downtrodden masses. When the government’s dictator captures the man and decides to crucify him, a New York-based TV company swoops in to vie for the broadcast rights.

Prior to his death at the age of 89, theatregoers voted Miller the world’s Greatest Living Playwright by theatregoers. His seminal stage classics included Death of a Salesman, currently revived in the West End starring Brian Dennehy, The Crucible, All My Sons, A View from the Bridge and The Price.

Miller’s final play produced during his lifetime was fittingly titled Finishing the Picture. Based on the breakdown of the playwright’s five-year marriage to Marilyn Monroe while on the set of John Huston’s film The Misfits, for which Miller wrote the screenplay, it premiered in Chicago in October 2004 and was previously tipped for a London season at the Old Vic (See The Goss, 21 Sep 2004)

Outside of the theatre world, Miller achieved another level of celebrity when he married actress Marilyn Monroe. In 1962, a year after their five-year marriage ended in divorce, Monroe committed suicide. Monroe continued to influence Miller’s writing more than forty years later. Just this past October in Chicago (See The Goss, 21 Sep 2004), he premiered his final play, fittingly titled Finishing the Picture. It was based on the breakdown of the couple’s marriage while on the set of John Huston’s film The Misfits, for which Miller wrote the screenplay.

Resurrection Blues will mark the UK stage debut for Robert Altman, who is renowned for his film career spanning more than five decades. His many screen credits include MASH, Brewster McCloud, Nashville, The Long Goodbye, The Player, Short Cuts, Prêt-à-Porter, Cookie’s Fortune and Gosford Park. No casting has yet been announced for

- by Terri Paddock

NOTE: Public booking for Resurrection Blues opens on 26 September 2005.