Renowned west London fringe venue, the Bush Theatre, is soon to embark on a dramatic exchange with the Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Connecticut. The Bush will export its critically acclaimed production of Joe Penhall's Love and Understanding in exchange for the European premiere of David Rabe's latest play A Question of Mercy.
A Question of Mercy first opened at the New York Theater Workshop in February 1997. The Bush will be presenting the Long Wharf's production in its British premiere. It will be directed by Douglas Hughes who directed both the original New York and Long Wharf productions.
A Question of Mercy tackles the euthanasia debate with the story of of Thomas and his lover Anthony who wants to control the timing and circumstances of his own death. Anthony enlists Dr. Robert Chapman to teach him to clear the legal, ethical and moral hurdles that this entails.
David Rabe's Hurlyburly had its British premiere last year care of the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic. The production went on to a successful transfer at the Queen's Theatre and two 1998 Olivier nominations, including Best Actor for Queen's star Rupert Graves.
Joe Penhall's third play Love and Understanding premiered in May 1997 at the Bush. His latest play, The Bullet, will premiere at the Donmar Warehouse in April. Other Bush productions are also bound for American shores. St Nicholas, written and directed by Conor McPherson and featuring Brian Cox, will open at Primary Stages in New York on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 1998 (previews from 11 March). Also in New York, Simon Brent is at New Dramatists working on an American version of his play Goldhawk Road which premiered at the Bush as part of the London Fragments season in January 1996.