Inside Opening Night of The Height of the Storm on Broadway With Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins

Opening Night   Inside Opening Night of The Height of the Storm on Broadway With Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins
 
The Florian Zeller play opened at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theater September 24.
Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce
Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Stage veterans Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins have made a triumphant return to Broadway in Florian Zeller's The Height of the Storm, after more than a decade's absence. The Manhattan Theatre Club production celebrated its official opening night September 24.

In the Jonathan Kent-helmed play, André and Madeleine have spent 50 years married, until their life together begins to unravel and their loving relationship is faced with the inevitability of change.

Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce in <i>The Height of the Storm</i>
Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Height of the Storm Joan Marcus

Pryce, a two-time Tony winner for his turn in Miss Saigon and Comedians, said he was thrilled to be returning to the stage with a play. "I started on Broadway in 1976 in a play [Comedians], and since then it’s been musicals," he explained following the opening performance. "So it’s good to be back with a play about old age, love, and grief.

"The thing that drew me to this piece was that at first, I didn’t understand it. In the past, I’ve been drawn to things I don’t immediately understand because that means I get to work it out in rehearsal, and I’m still working this out on stage," he continued.

READ: Reviews for The Height of the Storm on Broadway

Since his last appearance on the Great White Way (opposite Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Pryce has garnered attention for his roles on HBO's mega-hit Game of Thrones and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

"Game of Thrones was a younger audience—and a huge audience. If I hadn’t had such a great time doing it, I’d have been annoyed by the attention, but I had a fantastic time," he said.

Lucy Cohu, Amanda Drew, Eileen Atkins, Jonathan Pryce, Lisa O&#39;Hare, and James Hillier
Lucy Cohu, Amanda Drew, Eileen Atkins, Jonathan Pryce, Lisa O'Hare, and James Hillier Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Atkins, a three-time Olivier award winner, said she was worried that her and Pryce might have been "too alike".

"I’ve always admired him and called him 'my kind of actor,' but I was a bit worried we’d be too alike," she said.

How exactly are they alike? "In our approach, our way of playing, and our attitude, but of course, that’s marvelous for this play because it’s about two people who know each other very, very well."

British actor Amanda Drew, who is making her Broadway debut in the show, described the play something to solve. "The piece is like a cryptic puzzle, sort of like a Rubik’s cube with lots of different time frames and perceptions," she explained. "I had to read the play innumerable times to get all the pieces of the jigsaw."

Get a sense of the puzzle that awaits with the opening night photos below.

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