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Gillian Anderson and Lily James in All About Eve (Photo: Perou)

Everything you need to know about All About Eve

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published 4 October 2018

On 2 February 2019, the West End will become the home of the eagerly-awaiting stage-adaptation of All About Eve. If the film’s success is anything to go by, the show – with its all-star cast – is set to wow audiences. But how much do you really know about Eve? Here’s all the information you need before you see it.

The backstory

This brand new stage production of All About Eve is based on the 1950 film of the same name. The film – which starred Bette Davis and was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz – was a huge critical success. It received 14 Oscar nominations and won six. To this day, it’s the only film to have received four female acting nominations.

Though, the origin of this story goes further back than the iconic film. All About Eve is based on the short story The Wisdom Of Eve by Mary Orr. This story was inspired by an anecdote Mary was told by performer Elisabeth Bergner. Elisabeth shared her story of a young fan who she took under wing while she was performing in The Two Mrs Carrolls only to regret her kindness when the fan turned on her. After publication, Elisabeth and Mary’s story caught the attention of Joseph who was working on a story about an ageing actress, and he decided to combine his work with The Wisdom Of Eve to create the iconic film.

In 1970, the film was turned into the musical, Applause, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

A play adaptation has been long in the making with Tony and Olivier Award-winner Ivo van Hove taking the reigns. Now, 68 years after the initial release date of the film, All About Eve is finally coming to the stage. It will make its world premiere the Noël Coward Theatre for a strictly limited 14-week run.

What’s the show about?

Margot Channing is one of the biggest stars on Broadway. But as her 40th birthday comes and goes, she starts to worry about how her age will impact her career. When she appears in Aged In Wood, her friend introduces her to a young fan named Eve. Eve shares her tragic past with Margot who takes pity on her and hires her to be her assistant. But it’s soon clear that Eve isn’t as sweet and innocent as she seems. Slowly but surely, Eve tries to muscle in on Margot’s life and career. But, will her youth and charm defeat Margot’s star-power?

Who’s in All About Eve?

Speaking of star-power, there are some seriously big names in this brand new show.

Gillian Anderson will play Margot Channing. Gillian is best known for playing Dana Scully in The X Files which earned her an Emmy, a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors’ Guild awards. Other television credits include the critically-acclaimed Bleak House, BAFTA-winning mini-series Great Expectations, the BAFTA-nominated thriller The Fall, Hannibal, American Gods, and the acclaimed mini-series War & Peace (BBC). Her stage appearances include Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire both in London and New York.

Lily James will play Eve Harrington. Lily first broke out into the public eye when she played Rose in Downton Abbey. Since, she’s starred in major films including Disney’s Cinderella, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, Baby Driver, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. For stage, Lily played Juliet in Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed Romeo and Juliet and appeared in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic Theatre.

Gillian and Lily will be joined by BAFTA award-winning actress Monica Dolan as Karen, Downton Abbey’s Julian Ovenden as Bill, distinguished performer Sheila Reid as Birdie, and Rhashan Stone as Lloyd.

How long is it?

As All About Eve hasn’t opened yet, we don’t have a run-time. But we do know that performances will take place at 7.30pm Monday to Saturday, with matinees at 2.30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Where is it playing?

It will be playing at the Noël Coward Theatre on St Martin’s Lane. The nearest stations are Leicester Square (100m) or Charing Cross (500m).

Will I like it?

It’s an eternal story that has been adored for almost 70 years. It’s starring two of the most revered female actors of our time. It’s got an award-winning creative team behind it. And it’s being seen for the first time here in the West End. If that doesn’t add up to a must-see, we don’t know what does.

 

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Tagged:
all about eve gillian anderson ivo van hove lily james Noel Coward

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