Suddenly Last Summer, which drew ecstatic reviews from many London critics who traveled to Sheffield for it, is the first major London outing for the play since 1999 (when Rachel Weisz and Sheila Gish starred in it). This time around, the cast is led by Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton. Alongside them are Mark Bazely, Virginia Denham, Patrick Kennedy and Jennifer McEvoy. Christopher Oram is the designer, and the show is brought to London by Duncan C. Weldon and Paul Elliott. Grandage is riding high at the moment. His Donmar regime has not only gotten off to a successful start, but he won the 2004 Best Director Olivier Award for his production of Caligula. And, this is his second Sheffield show to make the journey down south — The Tempest with Derek Jacobi played the Old Vic in 2003.
The play also marks Diana Rigg’s first London stage outing since she starred in Charlotte Jones’ Humble Boy at the National Theatre in 2001. Here as there, coincidentally, she plays a less than admirable mother, though the Williams mater is rather scarier than the uncompromising but hardly unfeeling Mrs. Humble.
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