As reported back in July, the hit Donmar Warehouse revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing may have a future on Broadway. Producer Anita Waxman is working on a transfer of the London production, negotiating with Actors' Equity to bring the British cast over. If all goes smoothly -- and a theatre can be found -- the play will reach New York in early spring.
Production spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown told Playbill On-Line (Oct. 28) negotiations were proceeding and details -- such as casting and dates -- could be confirmed as early as late next week.
Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle opened in the revival of Stoppard's 1982 comedy June 2, 1999 (following previews from May 27). The production, which ran through Aug. 7, was sold out.
The Real Thing deals with love, marriage and adultery. In shifting perspectives, couples founder and reform, and joy and passion are acutely countered by pain and deception. "You want to give it time," says Annie to Henry, her married lover. "Time to go wrong, change, spoil. Then you know it wasn't the real thing."
Stephen Dillane, star of the feature film "Welcome to Sarajevo," played Henry. Dillane returned to the Donmar following his role last year in Endgame. Jennifer Ehle, who played Annie, is best known for her film features such as the recently released "This Year's Love" and her television roles in serials such as BBC1's "Pride and Prejudice," for which she won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in 1996. In London, Dillane and Ehle were joined in the cast by Sarah Woodward (Charlotte), Nigel Lindsay (Max), Mark Bazeley (Billy), Caroline Hayes (Debbie) and Joshua Henderson (Brodie).
The Real Thing was directed by David Leveaux, newly appointed as an associate director of the Donmar Warehouse. It was his third production for the theatre, following the musical Nine in 1996 and the 1997 Olivier Award-winning production of Electra, starring Zoe Wanamaker, which also transferred to Broadway. Design is by Vicky Mortimer, with lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by John A Leonard.
Tom Stoppard won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for his screenplay for the film "Shakespeare in Love." His recent theatre work includes Arcadia (Evening Standard Award for Best Play, 1993), Indian Ink (1995) and The Invention of Love (Evening Standard Award for Best Play, 1997).