Playbill On-Line has learned that Bruce Graham’s award-winning play Coyote on a Fence will have its British premiere at the Duchess Theatre on April 28, with previews beginning April 22. And, Variety reports that Claudia Shear’s Mae West tribute, Dirty Blonde, is to have its London debut in June. Other U.S. plays coming up in Theatreland include Edward Albee’s The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? transferring from the Almeida (opens April 15), David Mamet’s Oleanna with Julia Stiles (opens April 22), Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things (opens May 15) and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Fuddy Meers (opens May 20).
A true-life story about a prisoner on Death Row who wrote obituaries of his fellow prisoners when they were executed, Coyote on a Fence started life at the Cincinnati Playhouse and won the 1998 Lois and Richard Rosenthal Award. Its New York productions garnered two Drama Desk nominations.
The play will be produced by Matthew Mitchell and ACT Productions. Lead producer Mitchell has cast Ben Cross (best-known for “Chariots of Fire”) and Alex Fearns (a household face in the U.K. for his role as Trevor in the TV soap “Eastenders”) in the leads.
ACT is also managing the London bow of Dirty Blonde, with James Hammerstein Productions as lead producer. The show first reached Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre in 2000, where it played 352 performances and featured Shear, Kevin Chamberlin and Bob Stillman. It was seen at England’s West Yorkshire Playhouse in July 2002, when it got rave reviews and much gossip about a London transfer, which didn’t happen. Now, however, Shear will finally get to see her name in lights in the West End.