Warchus to Direct West End Revival of Levin's Deathtrap; Russell Beale to Star

News   Warchus to Direct West End Revival of Levin's Deathtrap; Russell Beale to Star
Matthew Warchus, who won a 2009 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for God of Carnage — he was also nominated in that category for The Norman Conquests — will stage a new West End production of Ira Levin's 1978 Broadway play Deathtrap.
Matthew Warchus
Matthew Warchus Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The play was previously seen at the West End's Garrick Theatre, where it ran from 1978-1981. According to a report in Britain's Daily Mail, Simon Russell Beale (who can currently be seen in the West End in the Bridge Project double bill of The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale, directed by Sam Mendes), is lined up to star as English playwright and novelist Sidney Bruhl, originally played on Broadway by John Wood and in the subsequent 1982 film by Michael Caine.

In the play, Bruhl — living in Connecticut with his American wife — befriends a young writer, Clifford, who has written a new stage thriller, which Sidney intends to pass the play off as his own.

The play will be revived by producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers (God of Carnage, Equus, Calendar Girls). According to the Daily Mail, the schedule is for rehearsals to begin in July 2010, prior to previews at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre around Aug. 20, prior to an opening night in early September. According to Pugh, changes will be made: He is quoted saying, "We were given access to Ira Levin's original script and notes, and from reading through those, some ideas surfaced. Those ideas have given Matthew inspiration to take certain new twists and turns."

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