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Thandie Newton & James Earl Jones in Tin Roof???

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Last year, James Earl Jones led a colour-blind Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic 1955 drama, which ran for three months at New York’s Broadhurst Theatre. According to the Daily Mail, producer Stephen C Byrd is eager to repeat the exercise this year in the West End, with Jones leading another all-black company, possibly at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in November.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is set in a Mississippi plantation house at the time of ailing Big Daddy's birthday party, an event which sets the scene for family recriminations and revelations. His son Brick, a former college sports star, is more upset about the death of his friend Skipper than the disintegration of his marriage to a sexually frustrated wife Maggie.

The last West End production opened at the Lyric Theatre in September 2001 with an all-white cast including Ned Beatty as Big Daddy, Brendan Fraser as Brick and Frances O'Connor as Maggie. Debbie Allen, who directed Jones on Broadway, is signed up to helm the new UK staging. Amongst the leading black British actors Byrd has been wooing to join Jones on stage as Brick and Maggie are, respectively, Adrian Lester and Thandie Newton.


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