Ecstasy comes to Theatreland

Published March 23, 2011

The Hampstead theatre revival of Mike Leigh’s Ecstasy, which sold out before opening at the off-West End venue, will play a limited season at the Duchess theatre.

Directed by Leigh, with a cast including Siân Brooke and Sinead Matthews, Ecstasy will run in the West End from 12 April to 28 May after completing its Hampstead run on 9 April.

Set in 1979 in a Kilburn bedsit, Ecstasy explores the loneliness, togetherness, longing and warmth of old friends coming together. It marks the first time the writer/director, famous for his improvisational techniques when creating new work, has returned to one of his previous pieces.

Speaking about the transfer, Hampstead theatre Artistic Director Edward Hall said: “I am so glad to be able to give Mike Leigh’s work a wider platform to be seen on. We have been unable to cope with demand for tickets at Hampstead so this transfer is doubly important both for the theatre and for the audience for Mike’s work. It is enormously exciting to see Hampstead back in the West End once again in this new partnership with Nica Burns and Nimax Theatres.”

In recognition of how successful the revival has been at the West London venue, where it reportedly broke box office records, 100 tickets each evening will be sold at Hampstead theatre prices.

Sign Of The Times, the new comedy currently playing at the Duchess theatre, will end its run earlier than previously expected, on 2 April.

The play from the pen of Calendar Girls writer Tim Firth, which stars Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns, had been due to run until 28 May.

The comic two-hander features Olivier Award-winning actor Kelly as Frank Tollit, a man who has spent a quarter of a century erecting signs while harbouring a more literary ambition. The arrival of a clumsy teenager – played by Kearns, best known as Shameless’s Ian Gallagher – might just be his salvation.

Following Ecstasy’s 50 performances, the Duchess theatre will host a revival of Simon Gray’s Butley, which brings The Wire’s Dominic West back to the London stage.

MA

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