Hollywood star Thandie Newton is to swap the film set for the stage when she appears in Ariel Dorfman’s Death And The Maiden in the West End. The production, directed by Jeremy Herrin, opens at the Comedy theatre on 24 October (previews from 13 October).
Newton will play Paulina, a former political prisoner who suffered at the hands of a captor whose face she never saw but whose voice and mannerisms she recalls with terrifying clarity. Years later, as if by fate, she acts as judge and jury to a man she believes to have been her oppressor.
Death And The Maiden premiered at the Royal Court in 1991 starring Juliet Stevenson, subsequently transferring to the West End and picking up the 1992 Olivier Award for Play of the Year, as well as Best Actress for Stevenson. It was adapted into a film in 1994 directed by Roman Polanski and starring Sigourney Weaver.
British actress Newton has made a name for herself in film with credits including Mission Impossible II, W, The Pursuit Of Happyness and Crash, for which she won a BAFTA. She also appeared in US hospital drama ER.
One of London’s foremost young directors, Herrin is deputy Artistic Director at the Royal Court where his work has included the Olivier-winning That Face – which transferred to the West End – Tusk Tusk, The Priory, The Heretic and The Vertical Hour. His production of Much Ado About Nothing is running at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer.
Currently playing at the Comedy theatre is Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, which ends its run on 20 August.