UK's New Boy in Development for October OB Showcase

News   UK's New Boy in Development for October OB Showcase Ah, it's the old story: She loves him but he loves...another him.

Ah, it's the old story: She loves him but he loves...another him.

New Boy, Russell Labey's adaptation of William Sutcliffe's coming of-age-novel, had a popular run in April 2001 at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre in London, and now a New York producer hopes to develop it for a production in New York.

The play, which is told from the perspective of a pubescent school boy with a crush on an upperclassman, had its start at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and enjoyed a well-reviewed UK premiere at the Pleasance Theatre in Feb. 2001. Author Labey, who also directs, is currently staging a UK tour of Sunset Boulevard for the Really Useful Group.

Producer Val Sherman, who anticipates an October 2002 workshop production for New Boy, told Playbill On-Line the show's humor and look at the struggles of teenhood make it more universal than simply another play about a gay youth struggling with his sexuality. Labey also notes that lead actor Neil Henry, who received exceptional notices for his charisma and energy in the show's UK incarnations, took part in two Jan. 17 industry readings in midtown Manhattan and will star in the show's fall workshop. Henry's other UK credits include playing young Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire and appearing in shows at the Old Vic and Cambridge Theatre.

Producer Sherman contacted PBOL shortly after the readings to note that they went "very well" and that it's full steam ahead for the October production. Author-director Labey (The Go-Between) has also been commissioned to write a new play for the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. Producer Sherman served as associate producer for the acclaimed Off Broadway drama, Old Wicked Songs and has numerous directing credits.

— By David Lefkowitz