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Carnage Recoups & Closes 14 Jun, Brief Extends

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Yasmina Reza’s new comedy God of Carnage will close at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre on 14 June 2008, at the end of its limited 14-week premiere season.

Producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers announced today that the star-studded production – performed by Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig (pictured together), Ken Stott and Janet McTeer – has already recouped its entire £525,000 capitalisation in a record-breaking six weeks. Rather than recasting, Pugh and Rogers have decided to finish on a high in London, prior to a Broadway premiere and, in 2010, opening in Australia.

God of Carnage revolves around two sets of parents who meet to discuss a playground altercation between their 11-year-old sons. The English-language premiere of reunites for the first time the team behind French playwright Yasmina Reza’s Art, which ran for eight years in the West End - translator Christopher Hampton, director Matthew Warchus and producers Pugh and Rogers (as well as designer Mark Thompson, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone and composer Gary Yershon).

The comedy opened at the Gielgud Theatre on 25 March 2008 (previews from 7 March), when a partial power cut briefly disrupted proceedings (See 1st Night Photos, 26 Mar 2008). No further productions have yet been announced for the Gielgud.

Meanwhile, David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers’ other current West End play, Kneehigh Theatre’s “live on stage” version of David Lean’s classic 1945 film Brief Encounter, has extended its season at The Cinema, Haymarket, the theatre created especially for it, by three months. The multimedia adaptation opened on 17 February 2008 (previews from 2 February) and had been booking until 22 June (See Review Round-up, 19 Feb 2008). It is now taking bookings through to 21 September.

The Haymarket venue originally opened in 1926 as a theatre before being converted into a Cineworld cinema complex. The cinema chain, which runs 73 venues across the country, is co-producing the new stage show with Pugh and Rogers.

Based on a combination of Noel Coward’s screenplay and his original 1935 one-act stage play, Still Life, Brief Encounter is adapted and directed by Kneehigh artistic director Emma Rice and stars Naomi Frederick and Tristan Sturrock as Laura and Alec, the infidelity tempted couple immortalised on screen by Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, as well as Amanda Lawrence and Stuart McLoughlin.

- by Terri Paddock


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