Lesley Manville to Star in Richard Eyre Adaptation of Ghosts at London's Almeida; Dates Confirmed for American Psycho

By Mark Shenton
April 19, 2013

Lesley Manville, Jack Lowden and Will Keen will star in the previously announced new production of Ibsen's Ghosts that Richard Eyre will adapt and direct at London's Almeida Theatre, beginning performances Sept. 26 prior to an official opening Oct. 3, for a run through Nov. 23.



Dates have also been confirmed for the previously announced Headlong co-production of the world premiere of American Pyscho, the stage version of Brett Easton Ellis' novel of the same name, with book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik. It will begin performances Dec. 3 prior to an official opening Dec. 12, for a run through Jan. 25, 2014.

The production will also feature direction by Rupert Goold, set design by Es Devlin, choreography by Lynne Page, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti and musical direction from David Shrubsole.  American Psycho is an Almeida co-production with Headlong in association with David Johnson and Jesse Singer for Act 4 Entertainment.

In Ghosts, Helene Alving has spent her life suspended in an emotional void after the death of her cruel but outwardly charming husband. She is determined to escape the ghosts of her past by telling her son, Oswald, the truth about his father. But on his return from his life as a painter in France, Oswald reveals how he has already inherited the legacy of his father's dissolute life.

Manville, who plays Helene Alving, will make her Almeida debut in Ghosts.  She was last on stage at the National Theatre in Mike Leigh's Grief; she has previously been seen there in Her Naked Skin, Pillars of the Community, The Alchemist and His Dark Materials. She has also worked extensively at the Royal Court, including the original productions of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls and Serious Money. On film she has worked regularly with Mike Leigh, including "Another Year," "All or Nothing," "Topsy-Turvy," "Secrets and Lies" and "High Hopes."

Lowden, who plays Oswald Alving, was most recently on stage playing Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre and the West End's Gielgud). Previous roles include Cammy in Black Watch for the National Theatre of Scotland which was also seen at the Barbican and on tour worldwide. 

Keen, who plays Pastor Manders, returns to the Almeida, where he has previously been seen in Waste, Tom and Viv and Five Gold Rings.  He was most recently seen in the West End in Quartermaine's Terms.

Eyre was last represented at the Almeida by Nick Dear's The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, The Judas Kiss for the theatre as well as Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. He was recently represented in the West End by Quartermaine's Terms and continues to be represented internationally by Mary Poppins.

In a press statement the Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough commented, "When Richard proposed directing his own new version of Ghosts at the Almeida, I jumped at the idea. His production for us of his version of Hedda Gabler with the then unknown Eve Best and Benedict Cumberbatch was a masterful piece of work and his recent realisation of Nick Dear's The Dark Earth and The Light Sky was simply ravishing. I could not be more delighted to be welcoming Richard back as part of my final season at the Almeida."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7359 4404, or visit www.almeida.co.uk for more details.