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Why Broadway But Not West End for Court Seagull???

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The Royal Court’s 2007 production of Chekhov’s The Seagull has confirmed dates for its transfer to Broadway, where it will open at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 1 October 2008 (previews from 16 September). The revival, directed by then-outgoing artistic director Ian Rickson, was a sell-out in Sloane Square last January, the final production in the theatre’s year-long 50th anniversary season, and there was hope at the time that a West End season may follow to meet London demand for tickets (See The Goss, 5 Apr 2007).

Why didn’t it happen? Quite simply, the actors didn’t want to do it. “They wanted to go to New York,” current artistic director Dominic Cooke told Whatsonstage.com. They felt that they had already effectively “done the West End” by performing at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, where “they’re already eligible for Oliviers”.

Not just eligible in the case of Kristin Scott Thomas, who won this year’s Best Actress Olivier award for her turn as Arkadina, which she’ll now take to New York. Other original cast members reprising their performances will include Mackenzie Crook (as Konstantin), Art Malik (Dorn) and Carey Mulligan (Nina). But they won’t be accompanied by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Trigorin. That role will now be played by Hollywood screen star Peter Sarsgaard, making his Broadway debut.


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