Following its UK premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it won a Fringe First (See News, 19 Aug 2005), The Exonerated - the hit Off-Broadway drama about living on death row performed by a starry American ensemble – will receive its London premiere in the new year. It will run at west London’s Riverside Studios for a limited season from 21 February to 11 June 2006.

A London run for the 90-minute play has been on the cards for more than two years, with Hollywood screen star Aidan Quinn (pictured) and politically outspoken British stage and screen actress Vanessa Redgrave tipped to take part for a West End engagement (See The Goss, 19 Aug 2003). Quinn, who appeared with the cast in Edinburgh, is expected to reprise his performance in London alongside several other high-profile names, still to be confirmed.

Amongst the stars who appeared in the Off-Broadway run, which finished in October 2002 after 608 performances, were: Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, Jeff Goldblum, Alanis Morissette, Bebe Neuwirth, Lynn Redgrave, Kyra Sedgwick, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Kathleen Turner, Mary J Blige, Robert Carradine and Debra Winger.

The Exonerated was written in 2001 by husband-and-wife team Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, based on interviews with 40 former death row prisoners. It explores the experiences of those wrongfully imprisoned for between two and 22 years.

The play was first performed in April 2002 by the Los Angeles-based Actors’ Gang, under the artistic directorship of Hollywood’s Tim Robbins, before transferring to New York. In January 2005, the stage drama was adapted for television and aired on the US’ Court TV channel, starring Quinn, Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Susan Sarandon and David Brown Jr.

- by Terri Paddock