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Keith Allen Digs for Treasure at Haymarket, 17 Nov

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Keith Allen (pictured) will make his West End debut playing pirate Long John Silver in a new stage adaptation of Treasure Island, which will run for a Christmas season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 17 November 2008 (previews from 7 November) to 28 February 2009.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel – featuring “rip-roaring action, swash-buckling swordplay, battling buccaneers and hidden treasure” – has been adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, whose credits include the book for Crazy for You and the plays Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo.

Keith Allen - the father of singer Lily and actor Alfie, recently seen on tour in Equus - is best known for his screen credits including Fat Les, Shallow Grave, 24 Hour Party People, Trainspotting, Martin Chuzzlewit and, most recently on television, Robin Hood, in which he played another baddie, the Sheriff of Nottingham. His stage credits include The Homecoming, Celebration, Art and Flanders Mare.

Treasure Island is directed by Sean Holmes and designed by Shunt’s Lizzie Clachan with lighting by Paul Anderson, sound by Emma Laxton and music by Tom Haines and Ross Hughes, performed by a live band on stage. It’s produced by Brian Eastman and Andrew Welch.

Currently at the Haymarket, Michel Legrand’s new musical Marguerite, the final production in the venue’s inaugural in-house season of work programmed and directed by Jonathan Kent, finishes on 13 September. It’s followed by the stage version of Tracy Chevalier’s best-selling novel The Girl With a Pearl Earring - starring Adrian Dunbar and also produced by Eastman and Welch - for a limited season from 24 September to 1 November (See News, 21 Aug 2008).

- by Terri Paddock


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