Kim Cattrall is about to trade "Sex and the City" for sets — theatre sets, that is — in a different city. The actress makes her London theatre debut in Brian Clark's Whose Life Is It Anyway? Jan. 7 at the Comedy Theatre. The show, originally a big hit in London and New York for Tom Conti (who won the 1979 Tony for Best Actor), has been rewritten for a leading woman. It’s about the artist Ken Harrison — now Claire — who is hit by a car and paralyzed. She spends the play contemplating her own death. It has been seen by many as an against-type choice for an actress best known for her iconic TV role as the easy-living, free-spirited Samantha. (Mary Tyler Moore later starred in the Broadway production at the Royale Theatre.)
Cattrall told the Guardian newspaper that the part of Claire has energized her. “It’s funny that a play about a woman wanting the right to die should have infused me with so much life.” In the same interview she also praised the show’s veteran British director, Peter Hall. “He’s been so wonderful and encouraging,” said Cattrall. “I feel completely protected by this security net. My experiences in film and theatre in the States have been much more rigorous, much more, ‘You’re not doing it right!,’ and here’s there’s an environment of, ‘Let’s try this.’”
Press night is set for Jan. 25. Sonia Friedman and Mark Rubinstein produce the limited 16-week run.
The cast also includes Janet Suzman, Anne Mitchell, William Chubb, Amita Dhiri, Alexander Siddig, Jotham Annan, Rachel Bavidge and Emma Lowndes. Cattrall has a theatrical background. She made her Broadway debut in 1986 as Sofya opposite Ian McKellen in the National Theatre’s production of Chekhov’s Wild Honey. Subsequent theatre work includes a Dramalogue Award for Chekhov’s Three Sisters, Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge and rep in Vancouver, Toronto and Chicago.
Clark’s other plays include Kipling, which was on Broadway in 1984, and The Petition, which was there in 1986. The Petition won Tonys for Best Actor (Hume Cronyn) and Best Actress (Jessica Tandy) and was also directed by Hall. For more information, call (0)870 0606637.