The much-rumoured production of Yasmina Reza’s God Of Carnage has confirmed it is opening at the Gielgud on 25 March, following previews from 7 March. Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ken Stott star in the production directed by Matthew Warchus. The piece is translated from Reza’s French by playwright Christopher Hampton.
The story follows two sets of parents who come together to discuss the unruly behaviour of their children. But will it be a calm, eloquent discussion about how best to teach children the correct way to behave or a hysterical night of name-calling and tantrums that will all end in tears?
In bringing Warchus and Stott together, Producer David Pugh has reunited the director and star of Reza’s biggest London hit, Art. Designer Mark Thompson, Lighting Designer Hugh Vanstone and Composer Gary Yershon, who all worked on Art, are also reunited for this latest project.
God Of Carnage boasts a much smaller cast than Fiennes’s last London production, the Barbican’s 2005 Julius Caesar, which featured 100 extras. He has also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Brand at the Haymarket and in Hampton’s own play The Talking Cure at the National. He returns to the National later this year to take the title role in Oedipus. Fiennes is, however, possibly more famous for his film roles which include the Harry Potter movies – in which he plays the evil Lord Voldemort – The Constant Gardener, The English Patient and Schindler’s List.
Greig returns to London as a Laurence Olivier Award winner, having picked up a statuette in 2007 for her performance in Much Ado About Nothing. She is better known for her television roles in comedies Green Wing and Black Books.
While McTeer has most recently been seen on television screens as Mrs Dashwood in Sense And Sensibility, she is a London theatre regular with credits including Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse and Apollo) and The Duchess Of Malfi (National). Ken Stott’s appearances in London have been rarer. The Scottish actor – whose television personas include DI Pat Chappel in The Vice, DCI Red Metcalfe in Messiah and DI John Rebus in Rebus – last appeared in another Pugh production, the three-hander Heroes.
Director Warchus has a busy year in store. Having scored hits in 2007 with Boeing Boeing and The Lord Of The Rings, he starts 2008 opening Speed-The-Plow at the Old Vic in February before God Of Carnage opens in March.
God Of Carnage follows a Gilbert and Sullivan season, which includes The Mikado, Iolanthe and The Pirates Of Penzance, at the Gielgud.