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Robert Lonsdale plays Private Prewitt in From Here to Eternity

Robert Lonsdale will star as Private Prewitt in new Tim Rice musical From Here to Eternity, which premieres at the Shaftesbury Theatre later this year.

Robert Lonsdale in A Life at the Finborough (2012)
Lonsdale was unveiled at West End Live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday (22 June), where he performed a song from the show titled "Fight The Fight".

From Here to Eternity, which is adapted from James Jones' 1951 novel, features lyrics by Rice, music by newcomer Stuart Brayson and a book by Bill Oakes.

The story is set on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1941, before and during the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Lonsdale, who was described by Tim Rice on Saturday as "a young man with enormous talent", has recently appeared on stage in Brilliant Adventures at the Royal Court, A Life at the Finborough Theatre and Anna Christie (alongside Jude Law and Ruth Wilson) at the Donmar.

Loosely based on Jones' own wartime experiences, From Here to Eternity follows several members of a military company, including bullying Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes, tough-spirited bugler Prewitt and First Sergeant Milt Warden, who begins an affair with Holmes' neglected wife Karen.

In 1953 the novel was adapted into an Oscar-winning film directed by Fred Zinnemann, starring Montgomery Clift (as Prewitt), Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed.

From Here to Eternity opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 23 October 2013 (previews from 30 September).