Gregory Murphy’s The Countess Jumps the Pond to London's Criterion | Playbill

News Gregory Murphy’s The Countess Jumps the Pond to London's Criterion
Gregory Murphy’s play, The Countess, is to have its London debut. A success in New York, where it ran for 634 performances, it will open in the West End at the Criterion Theatre (now free for visiting shows once more after years of Reduced Shakespeare Company duty).

The Countess will begin previews June 2, with an opening night on June 7.

The show tells of a Victorian-era scandal that engulfed the art critic John Ruskin, his wife Effie and the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. It will be directed in London, as in New York, by Ludovica Villar-Hauser. She owns New York’s Greenwich Street Theatre, where in 1999 she produced and directed the world premiere of The Countess, before moving it to the Samuel Beckett and then the Lamb’s Theatre.

Alison Pargeter, who won Best Newcomer Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for her role in Alan Ayckbourn’s Damsels in Distress, will play Effie. Nick Moran (John Ruskin), whose own play Telstar is scheduled to follow its UK tour with a London run, is best known for his screen work, including roles in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Damian O’Hare, whose London credits include the Almeida’s Richard II and Coriolanus (which also played New York and Tokyo), will play Millais. The cast also includes Gerald Harper, Jean Boht, Linda Thorson, Chris Garwood, Edmund Kente and Deidra Morris.

This is Murphy’s first play, though he is currently writing a second based on the life of Charles Dickens. Jason Denvir designs the sets, with costumes by Christopher Lione, original music by Dewey Dellay, lighting design by Doug Filomena and sound design by Dan Last.

For more information, call (0)870 060 2313.

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