Bloom debuts on London stage

Published April 17, 2008

Orlando Bloom makes his West End stage debut this summer in David Storey’s In Celebration at the Duke of York’s from 5 July (press night 12 July). Lynda Baron, Gareth Farr, Paul Hilton and Ciaran McIntyre also star.

Anna Mackmin directs Storey’s 1969 drama, which centres around three brothers – Andrew (Hilton), Colin (Farr) and Steven (Bloom), who return home to the northern roots of their childhood for a family reunion. Although they have returned to celebrate, the explosive complexities of family life and long-held grievances are unlikely to improve the chances of a decent party. Storey’s drama is an exploration of family love and how the consequences of best intentions can threaten to destroy treasured hopes and dreams.

Although he trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 30-year-old British actor Bloom has until now worked exclusively on film rather than theatre, becoming highly successful in Hollywood. His screen work includes the blockbuster trilogies The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Carribbean and films including Troy, Kingdom Of Heaven, Elizabethtown and Black Hawk Down.

Baron, who plays Mrs Burnett, is well-known for her role as Nurse Gladys in the television series Open All Hours, while her extensive list of TV credits also includes Dinner Ladies, Down to Earth, Fat Friends, Last Of The Summer Wine and Goodnight Sweetheart. On the London stage she appeared in The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales, I Am Yours at the Royal Court, Stepping Out at the Duke of York’s and Follies at the Shaftesbury.

Farr’s London stage credits include Harvest at the Royal Court and Hobson’s Choice at the Young Vic. Hilton starred in last year’s winning play from the reality TV series The Play’s The Thing, Kate Betts’s On The Third Day, and has also appeared in The Wild Duck at the Donmar Warehouse, Mourning Becomes Electra, Three Sisters and The President Of An Empty Room at the National. McIntyre, who plays Reardon, has worked frequently with the RSC and was last in London in The Taming Of The Shrew at Wilton’s Music Hall.

Playwright and novelist Storey was Assistant Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1972-74. Many of his plays premiered at the venue, including In Celebration, in 1969. Director Mackmin has directed at the Gate, the Royal Court, the Donmar, the Bush and the National (Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship). She recently directed Dying For It at the Almeida.

In Celebration is booking until 15 September.