Anthony Shaffer, who died in Nov. 2001, age 75, was the twin brother of fellow playwright Sir Peter Shaffer (Amadeus, Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus). Anthony wrote many other works —currently, the most fashionable is the screenplay for the cult horror movie "The Wicker Man" — but Sleuth was by far the most successful of his plays, and its revival this summer is a major West End event.
Sleuth is about a mystery writer (Andrew Wyke, played by Peter Bowles) who leads his wife's lover (Milo Trindle, played by Gray O'Brien) into a cunning trap at his rambling mansion, forcing Milo to play bizarre games that spiral into a deadly duel of wits between the two. In the film version Andrew Wyke was played by Laurence Olivier, Milo Trindle by Michael Caine.
The film launched Olivier's profitable (but rarely as artistically satisfying as Sleuth) late-life film career, after the younger, less experienced, but richer Caine advised him to make as much cash from films as possible — while he still could.
Peter Bowles, who specializes in the suave with a touch of sinister, should make an ideal Andrew, while small-screen heart throb Gray O'Brien will provide the younger sex appeal essential to Milo's character.
Sleuth opens at the Apollo Theatre on July 10.