The paper also reported that the Helen Mirren vehicle, Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, is a possibility for New York in 2004, if Mirren can fit it into her schedule.
Both productions began life at the Royal National Theatre in London. As previously reported, American producers Bob Boyett and Ostar Productions have the first rights to transfer shows from the National to the U.S.
The Pillowman is billed as a "vicious and disturbing comedy" from the Irish writer who gave us the Leenane trilogy — The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West.
The Pillowman opened at London’s National Theatre on Nov. 13, in the Cottesloe. Drawing inspiration from the nastiness behind many children's tales, McDonagh depicts a writer in a totalitarian state who is interrogated about the horrific events in his short stories (such as fathers being given razor blade-filled apples to eat by their offspring), and, more frighteningly, their similarity to child murders that are occurring in the same town.
The writer is played by David Tennant. Jim Broadbent, riding high these days after his Oscar and Golden Globe awards for the movie "Iris" and appearance in "Moulin Rouge," is one of the interrogators. The cast also includes James Daley, Adam Godley, Jennifer Higham, Nigel Lindsay, Victoria Pembroke and Mike Sherman. John Crowley directs, with designs by Scott Pask, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Paul Arditti.
McDonagh, who first rose to fame with The Cripple of Inishmaan at the National, returns to the RNT for the first time since then. He was Tony Award-nominated for Best Play two years running, for the Broadway transfers of The Beauty Queen Of Leenane (1998) and The Lonesome West (1999).
Mourning Becomes Electra is O'Neill's five-hour rewrite of the classic Greek Oresteia trilogy, re-set during the American Civil War. It was first produced by The Theatre Guild in 1931 and is split into three plays: Homecoming, The Hunted and The Haunted. In London, Mirren plays Christine Mannon, who has an affair with the blacksheep cousin (Paul McGann) of her absent soldier husband (Tim Pigott Smith), much to the chagrin of her hateful daughter, Lavinia (Eve Best).
The performance at the National's Lyttleton Theatre lasts four hours and 15 minutes, with two intermissions. Howard Davies directs.
For information, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.