News that Anthony Shaffer's play Sleuth is to be revived in the West End later this summer — starring Peter Bowles as Andrew Wyke and Gray O'Brien as Milo Trindle — will be good news for fans of Shaffer's best-known play, which was a huge hit in London when it premiered in 1970 with Anthony Quayle (as Wyke) and Keith Baxter (as Trindle), and was as successful on Broadway.
Anthony Shaffer, who died in November 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 — including the screenplay for the cult horror movie The Wicker Man — but Sleuth was by far the most successful of his plays.
The play is about a mystery writer (Andrew Wyke) who leads his wife's lover (Milo Trindle) into a cunning trap at his rambling mansion, forcing the man 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 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.
Sleuth is expected to begin previews at the Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue on July 2. More details to be announced later.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow