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John Simm Returns to Stage to Speak in Tongues

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Life on Mars star John Simm, who was Whatsonstage.com and Olivier nominated for his West End debut in Elling two years ago, will return to the stage this autumn to star in the West End premiere of the 1996 emotional thriller Speaking in Tongues, written by Australian playwright Andrew Bovell, whose latest play When the Rain Stops Falling was just mounted at the Almeida Theatre.

Speaking in Tongues - which was made into the 2001 film Lantana starring Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey - will open at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 28 September 2009 (previews from 18 September), co-starring Ian Hart and Kerry Fox and directed by Toby Frow.

In Speaking in Tongues, Simm, who became a household name as 1970s time-travelling DI Sam Tyler in the first series of TV’s Life on Mars, will take on another detective role. Nine parallel lives - interlocked by four infidelities, one missing person and a mysterious stiletto - are interwoven through a fragmented series of confessionals, interrogations and ‘split-screen’ scenes, all drawn together by the investigations of Simm’s lead character, Leon Zat.

Simm made his stage debut in 1996 in Goldhawk Road at the Bush, where he returned to start in Elling in 2007. The comedy subsequently transferred to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 1 and Simm was nominated for Best Actor at both the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards for his performance. The same year he was Bafta nominated for Life on Mars. Simm’s many other screen credits include State of Play, Sex Traffic, The Canterbury Tales, White Teeth, Crime and Punishment, Blue/Orange, Doctor Who and, most recently, The Devil’s Whore and Skellig on TV; and 24 Hour Party People, Human Traffic and Wonderland on film.

Ian Hart’s many film credits include Backbeat, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Land and Freedom, Wonderland and A Cock and Bull Story, while on stage he’s appeared in The Homecoming, which transferred to the West End and New York following its initial run at Dublin’s Gate Theatre, and 2,000 Feet Away.

New Zealander Kerry Fox is also a familiar face from her films like Shallow Grave and Welcome to Sarajevo. Her UK stage credits include Cruel and Tender, In Flame, I Am Yours and The Maids.

Director Toby Frow directed author Andrew Bovell’s Ship of Fools at the fringe Theatre 503 last year, earning him a Time Out Critics’ Choice Award. His other credits include Some Kind of Bliss, Beautiful Thing, The Pillowman and The Real Thing. Speaking in Tongues is produced by Blue Horizon Productions and Jessica de Rothschild’s Sweet Pea Productions.


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