Morgan caused a stir two years ago with "The Deal," written for British television, a fictionalized account of the leadership deal struck before the 1997 British General Election between Prime Minister hopefuls and Labour MPs, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This is Morgan's first stage play.
In Frost/Nixon Langella will play Nixon opposite actor Michael Sheen. The prolific Michael Grandage - currently engaged on bringing the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Evita to the boil (opens at the Adelphi Theatre, June 21) - directs.
Langella is one of the U.S.'s best loved film, television and stage stars. Best known for his role as Dracula (1979), he recently appeared in George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck" but made his Broadway debut in the 1960's and won his first Tony Award for Edward Albee's Seascape (1975). In between, he has ranged on stage between Strindberg (The Father) to Noel Coward (Present Laughter). He has also been a regular at New York's Shakespeare Festival. Other Broadway credits include Amadeus, and Turgenev's Fortune's Fool (2002, adapted by English writer Mike Poulton) in which he played opposite Alan Bates and for which he won a second Tony.
Frost/Nixon is based on the television interviews, conducted in 1977 by the British talk-show host, which became the most watched interview ever in TV history. They also elicited a remarkable admission from the former U.S. President, whose incrimination in the break-in at the offices of the Democratic Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington led to his ultimate resignation.
This will not be Langella's first London appearance. In 2001 he made his West End debut in the ill-fated Over the Moon at the Old Vic, a short-lived outing. Co-starring Joan Collins, the show closed six weeks early. *
Writer-critic Carole Woddis is temporarily filling in for vacationing London correspondent John Nathan.