At the West End’s New London Theatre (See News, 3 Jun 2007), Gone with the Wind will receive its world premiere on 22 April 2008 (previews from 5 April) and is initially booking through to 27 September 2008.
Set in Georgia in the 1860s, Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 followed the indomitable Scarlett O’Hara’s journey from a life of luxury on her father’s plantation through the Civil War and the hardships it heaps on her and her family to the rocky post-war peace, with her love for Ashley Wilkes and the renegade Rhett Butler adding fuel to the fire.
Gone with the Wind has music and lyrics by Margaret Martin. The premiere production is directed by Nunn and designed by John Napier, who worked with Nunn on blockbuster page-to-stage adaptations of Les Miserables and Cats, the latter finishing its 21-year run at the New London in May 2002.
Ahead of Gone with the Wind (See News, 30 May 2007), Nunn’s sell-out Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and The Seagull, both starring Ian McKellen, run in rep at the theatre for a limited season from 15 November 2007 to 12 January 2008.
At the Old Vic (See News, 31 May 2007), Speed-the-Plow will run from 1 February to 26 April 2008. In David Mamet’s 1988 satire, Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey – who won his second Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Best Actor Award for last year’s revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten – returns to the stage to play greedy Hollywood producer Bobby Gould who, in planning his next film, is torn between making art versus money in a battle involving fellow producer Charlie Fox and a beautiful secretary.
Mamet’s three-hander was last seen in the West End in 2000 in a Peter Gill production that featured, in two different casts, Patrick Marber, Mark Strong and Neil Morrissey. The Old Vic revival will be directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell – whose recent collaborations include The Lord of the Rings and Boeing-Boeing - with lighting by Paul Pyant.
Finally, next month’s press performance for the “remixed” version of Jonathan Larson’s Rent at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre has been moved forward by a day to 15 October 2007 (previews from 2 October). The updated musical is directed by Kylie Minogue’s creative director William Baker and stars Denise Van Outen, former Sugababe Siobhan Donaghy, making her West End debut, and Leon Lopez (See News, 7 Sep 2007).
- by Terri Paddock