West End Rain Man Delays Opening

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01 Sep 2008

Josh Hartnett (top) and Adam Godley
Josh Hartnett (top) and Adam Godley
The stage version of the 1988 Oscar-winning film "Rain Man," which began performances at the West End's Apollo Theatre Aug. 28, has announced that it will push back its official opening from the originally scheduled Sept. 9 to Sept. 19. Previews will continue in the meantime.

This follows the previously announced replacement of original director David Grindley during early rehearsals, whose duties were taken over by director/playwright Terry Johnson. The later opening has been decided upon so that Johnson now has more time to give the play what a production spokesperson called "the best possible start." In a press statement, producer Nica Burns said, "We are delighted that the first two previews went well to audiences from as far a field as Australia and Los Angeles. However we lost a week of rehearsal at the beginning of the process. As it is a new play we are continuing to refine it as is usual. Therefore the press night date has changed and the only night available in the very full autumn schedule was Friday [Sept.] 19th."

The play, which boasts the West End debut of Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett, is currently booking through Dec. 20. It has been re-imagined by writer Dan Gordon, and is reset in the present day. Josh Hartnett plays Charlie Babbitt (originally played on screen by Tom Cruise) with British actor Adam Godley as his autistic savant older brother Raymond (originally played by Dustin Hoffman, who won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award). The cast also features Mary Stockley, Colin Stinton, Charles Daish and Tilly Blackwood.

The production is described as such: "Raymond, who has been hidden in an institution for most of his adult life and is dysfunctional in many senses, is also touched with a kind of stellar genius, which his brother Charlie, an L.A.-based automobile dealer and hustler, harnesses to save his business. The two brothers embark on a rollercoaster journey together that shows Raymond a world beyond the hospital gates and Charlie the meaning of unconditional love."

Hartnett, whose films include "Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down," "30 Days of Night," "Virgin Suicides," "The Black Dahlia" and "Lucky Number Slevin," said in a previous press statement, "It has always been my intent to work on the London stage. While I've had many opportunities it was only when I read the complex and charismatic character of Charlie Babbitt that I knew the time was right. I feel very fortunate to make my London bow with such an esteemed producer and director and I'm also looking forward to working with Adam Godley, who is such an extraordinary talent. Can't wait to live and work in London a city I adore!"



Godley was Olivier-nominated for his stage performances in Johnson's Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (National Theatre) and Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth (Royal Court, subsequently transferring to the Albery). Other productions include Private Lives (West End and Broadway), Paul, The Pillowman and Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years (National Theatre). His film credits include Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and upcoming "X Files: I Want To Believe."

Adaptor Dan Gordon has written 11 feature films, including "The Hurricane," "Wyatt Earp," "Murder in the First," "The Assignment" and "Passenger 57." His new play, Irena's Vow, is scheduled to open in New York in the fall. Other theatre credits include the stage adaptation of Terms of Endearment, which recently toured the U.K., and the stage adaptation of Murder in the First. His version of Rain Man is based on the MGM motion picture, which featured a screenplay by Barry Morrow.

Rain Man is produced by Nica Burns, Jane Walmsley, Michael Braham, Max Weitzenhoffer in association with MGM ON STAGE, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.

To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 412 4658 or visit www.rainmanonstage.com.