Rain Man, the stage adaptation of the hit 1980s film, has pushed back the date of its world premiere at London’s Apollo theatre. The drama will now open on Friday 19 September, ten days later than originally planned.
The move comes following a disrupted rehearsal period for the new play, which stars Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley. Original director David Grindley chose to leave the production for family reasons, being replaced at short notice by Terry Johnson.
Speaking about the decision to delay the press night, Rain Man producer Nica Burns said: “We are delighted that the first two previews went well to audiences from as far a field as Australia and Los Angeles. However we lost a week of rehearsal at the beginning of the process. As it is a new play we are continuing to refine it as is usual. Therefore the press night date has changed to the only night available in the very full autumn schedule, which is Friday 19th.”
Rain Man, adapted for the stage by Dan Gordon, is based on the Oscar-winning MGM movie starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as brothers Charlie and Raymond Babbitt.
Charlie, played on stage by Hartnett, is a self-centred Los Angeles-based car dealer and hustler. Relationships are not his forte and love is quite outside his experience. Raymond (Godley) is the elder brother Charlie never knew he had, an autistic savant who has been hidden away in an institution for most of his adult life. Raymond is dysfunctional in many senses, but – as Charlie discovers – he is also touched with a kind of stellar genius which Charlie harnesses to save his business. Together, the two brothers embark on a journey which shows Raymond a world beyond the hospital gates and Charlie the meaning of unconditional love.
Hollywood leading man Hartnett will make his West End debut when Rain Man opens. Better known for his movies, his silver screen credits include Pearl Harbour, Black Hawk Down and The Black Dahlia.
Godley, by contrast, has an impressive list of London credits including appearances in The Pillowman, Paul, Cleo Camping Emmanuelle And Dick, and Mouth To Mouth.
Speaking to Official London Theatre recently about Rain Man’s change of director, Godley said: “We’ve just carried on rehearsing really seamlessly. It didn’t ripple the waters or mean any change of direction. Terry’s been terrific; he’s great in those situations. We’re very very lucky to have him.”