The play has a complex history. It started as the 1986 play Melon and starred Alan Bates in London. Gray tinkered with the script and produced The Holy Terror in 1989 (broadcast on BBC Radio before a 1991 stage premiere in Arizona). The title has been retained for the version that will open at the Duke of York’s but, says Gray, there are only a few sentences that remain from the original.
Laurence Boswell directs Callow, who plays a once-ruthless publisher who has suddenly caved in to inexplicable terror. The cast also includes Robin Soans, Geraldine Alexander, Beverly Klein, Tom Beard, Matt Canavan and Lydia Fox. It is booking through Aug. 7.
Elsewhere, Gray is also busy. His new play The Old Masters premieres at the Birmingham Rep. beginning June 4, with a London transfer expected to follow. Gray’s old friend and frequent director Harold Pinter renews their partnership on that show, marking their ninth collaboration. That play is about the art dealer Joseph Duveen and the art critic Bernard Berenson.
Gray’s 1975 play Otherwise Engaged, meanwhile, is (according to Variety) set for a Theatreland revival, to be produced by Sonia Friedman and Mark Rubinstein, though Friedman’s office say that they’re not ready to announce anything yet. Playbill On-Line has also learned that Gray’s most recent West End play, Japes, is shaping up for Broadway, with a recent New York reading used to road-test some drastic rewriting.
And, Gray is just as busy on the books front. The latest in his series of published journals is “The Smoking Diaries,” to be published by Granta on April 17. Granta will also reprint “Fat Chance,” his witty account of the collapse of 1995’s play Cell Mates when the star Stephen Fry walked out.