As previously tipped (See The Goss, 14 Nov 2007), Hollywood’s Jeff Goldblum (pictured) and British musical theatre star Laura Michelle Kelly will join Kevin Spacey in the Old Vic’s 20th anniversary revival of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. The three-hander, which runs from 12 February to 26 April 2008 (previews from 1 February), marks the West End debut for Goldblum and the play debut for Kelly, who has just been Award nominated for her current role as Galadriel in the musical adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (See WOS TV & Photos, 10 Dec 2007).

Hollywood producers Bobby Gould (Goldblum) and Charlie Fox (Spacey) engage in a verbal boxing match centred around the eternal debate of art versus money. Should Gould go for another bad blockbuster that will make his fortune or put himself on the line for an adaptation of a spiritual, apocalyptic novel offered to him by his beautiful secretary Karen (Kelly)?

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 production is directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell – both also Award nominated last week for The Lord of the Rings - with lighting by Paul Pyant.

Spacey commented on the Speed-the-Plow casting news: “I am pleased to welcome my friend and a great actor Jeff Goldblum to the Old Vic. I know we are both very excited about discovering this challenging Mamet work with Matthew and Laura. I have always wanted to work with Jeff, and I couldn’t be happier that it will be in this great play.”

Jeff Goldblum’s film credits include The Fly, Into the Night, Deep Cover, Jurassic Park, The Right Stuff, The Life Aquatic, Man of the Year, The Big Chill and Independence Day. In 2005, he won an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in the Broadway premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman.

In addition to The Lord of the Rings, Laura Michelle Kelly’s musical credits Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, Whistle Down the Wind, My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins (for which she won an Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical) in the West End, and Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.

American David Mamet’s many other plays include Edmond, Oleanna, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo, A Life in the Theatre, The Crytogram, Boston Marriage, and currently revived at the West End’s Apollo Theatre with Jonathan Pryce and Aidan Gillen, his 1994 Pulitzer Prize winner Glengarry Glen Ross.

Currently at the Old Vic, the premiere of Stephen Fry’s new version of Christmas pantomime Cinderella has now been rescheduled for this Thursday 13 December 2007, following the cancellation of Sunday’s press performance due to the illness of star Sandi Toksvig (See News, 10 Dec 2007). In preview since 4 December, the production continues its limited season until 20 January 2008.

- by Terri Paddock