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Friel Breakfasts at Haymarket this autumn

Published 15 May 2009

Anna Friel will take on the iconic character Holly Golightly in a new stage adaptation of Breakfast At Tiffany’s at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 9 September (press night 29 September).

Adapted by Samuel Adamson from Truman Capote’s novella, the production is the second in director Sean Mathias’s season at the theatre, following Waiting For Godot.

Capote’s classic novella Breakfast At Tiffany’s, published 50 years ago, is set in New York in 1943 when Willian ‘Fred’ Parsons, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive goodtime girl. Everyone falls in love with Holly, including William. But he is poor and Holly needs rich. Will she marry playboy millionaire Rusty? Or Jose, the future president of Brazil? As war rages in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with William, and then her past catches up with her.

Capote’s story was famously made into an award-winning film in 1961 with Audrey Hepburn as Holly and George Peppard as Fred. Though based on the novella rather than the film, Adamson’s stage adaptation promises to feature the Oscar-winning song sung by Hepburn in the film, Moon River.

In addition to his original plays, which include Some Kind Of Bliss and Southwark Fair, Adamson previously adapted Pedro Almodovar’s film All About My Mother for the Old Vic. He has written versions of Ibsen’s Pillars Of The Community, A Doll’s House and Chekhov’s Three Sisters, while his play Mrs Affleck, which he based on Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, has just finished a run at the National Theatre.

British actress Friel shot to fame in the 1990s when she starred in the soap Brookside. Since then she has gone on to forge a successful career on both sides of the Atlantic. On stage she was seen in the Almeida theatre production of Lulu and in Patrick Marber’s Closer on Broadway, for which she won a Drama Desk award, while her screen work includes the films Land Girls, Rogue Trader and the forthcoming Land Of The Lost, as well as a Golden Globe-nominated performance in US television series Pushing Daisies.

Speaking about taking on the iconic role of Holly, Friel commented: “Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s has always been one of my favourite novels and I am delighted to have been given both the opportunity to play one of my all time favourite heroines, Holly Golightly, and to be returning home to the London stage.”

She is joined in the production by American actor Joseph Cross as Fred, who was most recently seen in the film Milk opposite Sean Penn. His other screen credits include Running With Scissors and Flags Of Our Fathers, while on stage he recently appeared in an off-Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra.

Sean Mathias, who directs the pair in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, said: “I am delighted to be helming the Haymarket’s Second Season of plays at the Theatre Royal. I have long been an avid fan of Capote and I hope that my production of his dazzling novella Breakfast At Tiffany’s will be an unashamedly glamorous evening of wit, style, tenderness and music, with the dynamic 1940’s New York as a backdrop. I am thrilled to be working with the beautiful and talented Anna Friel in her return to the London stage and one of America’s most sought after young actors Joseph Cross in his London debut.”

Waiting For Godot, the first production in Mathias’s season which opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in April following a UK tour, is currently booking to 26 July.

CB

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