Hastings is the author of a famous play about literary figure T.S. Eliot, Tom And Viv, which was made into a 1994 film starring Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson and Rosemary Harris. Hastings was even Oscar nominated for that movie. But his attempt to reap more success from another literary tale of madness appears to have foundered, as Calico has posted closing notices. The play chronicles the often-tempestuous relationship between the absurdist playwright Samuel Beckett and Lucia, the disturbed daughter of another writing great, James Joyce. The title refers to the name of the cotton that is often used for tying the wrists of people when they are taken off to mental institutions.
The cast includes Dermot Crowley, most recently seen by Londoners in National Theatre productions of Scenes from the Big Picture and His Girl Friday, as Joyce. Alongside him are Romola Garai (who stars in the forthcoming movie sequel to “Dirty Dancing,” “Havana Nights”) as Lucia Joyce, Olivier Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton, James Beamish, Daniel Weyman, Robert Portal and Issy Van Randwyck. Another National Theatre regular, Edward Hall, directs the production.
Reviews were mixed, but not overwhelmingly negative, but the show will close on April 3. It will be followed by Simon Gray’s The Holy Terror, which begins previews April 8 and stars Simon Callow.