Anna Friel and Joseph Cross to Star in New Stage Adaptation of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

News   Anna Friel and Joseph Cross to Star in New Stage Adaptation of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Anna Friel will return to the London stage opposite American actor Joseph Cross in playwright Samuel Adamson's new stage adaptation of Truman Capote's classic novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which will begin performances at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket Sept. 9.
Anna Friel
Anna Friel

The production will officially opne Sept. 29 for a run that is currently booking to Jan. 9, 2010. It will be the second production in Sean Mathias's current residency as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company, which was launched by his production of Waiting for Godot that is now playing there with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.

Friel will play Holly Golightly (the Audrey Hepburn role in the 1961 film version), and Cross will be William "Fred" Parsons. Set and costume designs are by Anthony Ward. Featuring Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's Oscar-winning song "Moon River," Breakfast at Tiffany's is presented by Chambord, and is produced by Colin Ingram by arrangement with The Theatre Royal Haymarket Company.

Truman Capote's novella was first published, along with three of his short stories, in book form in 1958, and also appeared unabridged in Esquire magazine in November that year. Set in New York City in 1943, the story revolves around a young writer from Louisiana, William "Fred" Parsons, who meets Miss Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl. Everyone falls in love with Holly, including William - but he is poor, and Holly needs rich. Will she marry Rusty, playboy millionaire? Or José, 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.

Friel's previous theatre work includes Lulu for the Almeida Theatre Company both in London and New York and Patrick Marber's Closer on Broadway. She has recently been seen as Charlotte Charles in "Pushing Daises," for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a television series. This summer, she will be seen starring opposite Will Ferrell in the film "Land of the Lost." She is also due to film "London Boulevard" with Keira Knightly and Colin Farrell as well as Jacob Estes' black comedy "The Details," with James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney. On TV, she will be seen next in Jimmy McGovern's award-winning "The Street."

In a press statement, Friel commented, "Truman Capote's 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' has always been one of my favorite novels and I am delighted to have been given both the opportunity to play one of my all time favorite heroines, Holly Golightly, and to be returning home to the London stage." Her co-star Cross is best known for his roles as Augusten Burroughs in "Running with Scissors," as Franklin Sousley in the Clint Eastwood war drama "Flags of our Fathers," and most recently, as Dick Pabich in the Gus Van Sant feature film "Milk," starring opposite Sean Penn. In 2003 Cross made his stage debut at the Williamstown Playhouse in John Guare's Landscape of the Body and most recently played Orin Mannon in The New Group's Off-Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra.

Director Sean Mathias has been represented on Broadway by his productions of Indiscretions (1995, a retitled transfer of his National Theatre production of Cocteau's Les Parents Terribles), Marlene (transferred from the West End in 1999), Dance of Death (transferred from the West End in 2001) and a new production of The Elephant Man in 2002. He has also directed Company as part of the Sondheim Celebration at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2002, and a production of The Cherry Orchard at LA's Mark Taper Forum, starring Annette Benning, in 2006. Other credits include Ring Round the Moon at the Playhouse, Uncle Vanya, A Little Night Music and Antony and Cleopatra (all at the National Theatre), a revival of Martin Sherman's Bent (National Theatre, subsequently transferring to the West End's Garrick, before directing a film version in 1997), Aladdin (Old Vic), Suddenly Last Summer (Comedy Theatre) and Design for Living (Donmar Warehouse, subsequently transferring to the West End's Globe Theatre, now the Gielgud).

In a press statement, Mathias said, "I am delighted to be helming the Haymarket's Second Season of plays at the Theatre Royal. After an exhilarating tour of Waiting for Godot, it was a joy to bring the play home to the Haymarket as the opening production in the season. My second production, a brand new stage adaptation of Truman Capote's most popular work 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,' is the glorious story of the unique Holly Golightly leading her fantastical existence in New York City during the second World War. 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."

Truman Capote (1924-1984) wrote short stories, novels, plays and essays, and worked for the New Yorker, which provided him with his first and last regular job. In 1948 his first novel, "Other Voices, Other Rooms," was published to international critical acclaim. His other iconic works include "In Cold Blood," "Music for Chameleons and "Answered Prayers."

Adaptor Samuel Adamson's other adaptations include Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother, seen at the Old Vic, and versions of Ibsen's Pillars of the Community for the National Theatre, A Doll's House for Southwark Playhouse, Chekhov's Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard for Oxford Stage Company and Schnitzler's Professor Bernhardi for Dumbfounded Theatre. He was recently represented at the National Theatre by his play Mrs. Affleck (based on Ibsen's Little Eyolf). His original plays include Southwark Fair (Naitonal Theatre), Grace Note (Old Vic), Clocks and Whistles (Bush Theatre), and Some Kind of Bliss (Trafalgar Studios).

To book tickets, contact the box office at 0845 481 1870 or visit www.breakfastattiffanys.co.uk.