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Tony Winner Osage Gets UK Premiere at NT in Nov

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As previously tipped (See The Goss, 16 Jun 2008), Tracy Letts’ comedy-drama August: Osage County - which won five top gongs, including Best Play, at the Tony Awards in New York on Sunday night (See News, 16 Jun 2008) - will transfer to London this autumn. However, rather than going direct into the West End, it will premiere in late November (exact dates tbc) at the National Theatre, where it will have a straight, eight-week run in the NT Lyttelton.

The original US cast of the Steppenwolf Theatre production – including Deanna Dunagan (pictured) and Rondi Reed, who won Tonys for, respectively Best Leading and Best Featured Actress in a Play – are expected to reprise their performances in the UK. August: Osage County, which also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, exposes the dark side of the middle American family. When the Westons unexpectedly reunite after dad disappears, their Oklahoman homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets, all overseen by the pill-popping and scathingly acidic matriarch Violet (Dunagan).

First seen at Steppenwolf in Chicago in summer 2007, the Broadway transfer of August: Osage County got off to a rocky start when its opening at the Imperial Theatre was postponed due to the 19-day stagehands’ strike last year (See News, 29 Nov 2007), but it subsequently transferred for an extended run at the Music Box Theatre, where several replacement principals started performances this week.

August: Osage County is directed by Anna D Shapiro and designed by Todd Rosenthal, both of whom also won Tony Awards for their work on the production. Author Tracy Letts’ other credits include Bug and Killer Joe, both of which were seen at London’s Bush Theatre in the 1990s. His new play, Superior Donuts, premieres in Chicago, again care of Steppenwolf, later this month.

- by Terri Paddock


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