Although both casts boast big U.K. names — Derek Jacobi in Carlos and David Suchet in Man and Boy — neither play is by a writer usually regarded as eminently bankable. The works of Schiller and Rattigan are revived occasionally in London, but are not regarded by producers as having the built-in audience that Shakespeare or Arthur Miller attracts there. Rattigan’s Man snd Boy, playing at the Duchess Theatre, cost £125,000 and recouped after five weeks. Schiller’s Don Carlos made up its £300,000 capitalization by the first week in March and, says Variety, has since been almost doubling its £80,000 weekly running costs. The show, unable to extend at London’s Gielgud Theatre because Neil LaBute’s Some Girls, starring David Schwimmer, is due there, is eyeing a Broadway transfer. However, it’s unknown how many of the London cast will be able to make the trip, since only Jacobi and Peter Eyre have green cards.
Both shows will see follow-ups from their respective authors. Michael Grandage, who directed Don Carlos, has commissioned a revival of Schiller’s Mary Stuart at his Donmar Warehouse in summer 2005, to be directed by Phyllida Lloyd. And Rattigan’s In Praise of Love is expected in the West End (with details to be confirmed) starring Patricia Hodge.