Secrets of Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years Revealed

News   Secrets of Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years Revealed
Mike Leigh’s new play, Two Thousand Years, has finally started previews (after two performances were canceled) at Britain’s National Theatre. And, with the play’s subject matter having been kept secret for so long, British newspapers have eagerly reported its general plot.

As actress Miriam Margolyes, who unsuccessfully auditioned for the play, let slip to the Jewish Chronicle earlier this year, the play is indeed “about being Jewish.” It features a Jewish family, whose members hold sharply different viewpoints, discussing various issues. The Guardian speculates that the two previews were canceled because Leigh was updating the play; among the topics discussed by the characters is the New Orleans crisis.

Caroline Gruber plays Rachel, matriarch of the North London family. Allan Corduner is her husband Danny, while Ben Caplan is their newly religious son Josh. John Burgess plays the grandfather, Dave. Also in the cast are Adam Godley, Nitzan Sharron, Samantha Spiro and Alexis Zegerman.

It’s Leigh’s first stage play since 1993’s It’s A Great Big Shame! Alison Chitty designs, with lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Gary Gershon and sound by John Leonard. Leigh's last film, "Vera Drake," won the Golden Lion at the 2004 Venice Film Festival and bagged Imelda Staunton (its leading lady) a BAFTA, as well as Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

Two Thousand Years opens in the Cottesloe on Sept. 15. As reported recently, all 16,000 advance tickets have been snapped up. However, some day-of-performance tickets remain available.

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