Peter Hall's mammoth staging of Tantalus, the new epic Trojan War drama originating this fall by Denver Center Theatre Company, in association with Royal Shakespeare Company, will have an English tour, according to Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
The U.K. staging will start on tour in January 2001 following the fall 2000 Denver, CO, run. The five-venue tour will land in London in April for a four-week staging. Venues in England will be announced in September.
"We expect that Tantalus will not end there," said Denver Center chairman Donald R. Seawell. The run in Denver, however, must end Dec. 2.
After four months of the unprecedented six-month rehearsal process, the running time for Tantalus has been measured at 10 hours and 30 minutes, shorter than the 15 hours previously thought. This shorter playing time now makes it possible for the entire cycle to be seen in two days, instead of three. Thus, a new schedule for the play has been announced.
"We anticipated Tantalus would run longer than it does," director Peter Hall said in a statement. "We were wrong. We overestimated the playing time prior to the start of rehearsals, which is not unusual for a new play, let alone a cycle of new plays that is being tooled and shaped as it is being staged." Previews for the ambitious cycle, written by John Barton, are Sept. 15-Oct. 19. The regular run is Oct. 21-Dec. 2. Under the new schedule, Tantalus will play Wednesdays/Thursdays and Saturdays/Sundays. On Wednesdays, Part I will begin at 2 PM. Dinner in the Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom will follow, with Part II ending at approximately 10:30 PM. Part III will be seen on Thursdays from 7-10:30 PM.
The Saturday/Sunday program will follow a similar pattern, with Saturday curtains at 2 PM, followed by dinner and concluding at 10:30 PM and Sundays beginning at 2 PM and ending at 5:30 PM.
The previously announced three-day cycles will be seen only during previews.
On three occasions, Nov. 18, 25 and Dec. 2, the entire cycle will be performed in a single day.
The new schedule means lower ticket prices, since the theatre will be serving fewer meals. Tickets now run $130 to $280. Those who have purchased tickets will be contacted to make schedule and refund adjustments.
Tantalus is based on original 10-play cycle by John Barton (The Greeks), with additional text by Colin Teevan. The works shows events before, during and after the Trojan War (with a hybrid international cast and creative team). Peter Hall and Edward Hall direct the cycle, to be presented at the Space and Stage theatres at the DCPA.
For more information, call the DCPA box office at (303) 893 4100, or (800) 641-1222, or visit the web site at www.denvercenter.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones