The False Servant Opens in London June 1 | Playbill

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News The False Servant Opens in London June 1 Martin Crimp’s new version of Pierre Marivaux’s The False Servant, starring film star Charlotte Rampling, opens June 1 at London's National Theatre. Jonathan Kent directs.
Charlotte Rampling in The False Servant
Charlotte Rampling in The False Servant Photo by Ivan Kyncl

New versions of old classics seem all the rage in London right now. The Donmar Warehouse has a hit on its stage with Tom Stoppard’s reworking of Pirandello’s Henry IV and will follow that in September with Frank McGuiness’s version of Euripides’s Hecuba.

The National Theatre publicity promises that “a world of darker meaning” will be revealed in Marivaux’s comedy of sexual manners. The story depicts a man who thinks that marriage is simply to do with money and property, and a woman who goes to extensive lengths to prove him wrong.

Crimp’s last Broadway outing was with the 1998 joint Theatre de Complicite and Royal Court production of Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs, for which Crimp provided the translation. The production was nominated for six Tonys.

Former Almeida boss Jonathan Kent directs, with designs by Paul Brown. Mark Henderson is the lighting designer, with music by Jeremy Sams and sound designs by Rich Walsh. The cast includes Anthony Calf, Michael Cantwell, Nancy Carroll, David Collings, Charlotte Rampling, William Rycroft, Adrian Scarborough, David Shaw-Parker, Katherine Toy and Tam Ward.

Star Charlotte Rampling has reigned for several decades as a sort of perversity queen on high brow cinema, known for risque performances in art films. She cemented this reputation in the 1974 film "The Night Porter," in which, 13 years after the war's end, WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor enter into a sado-masochistic relationship. Other notable films include "Farewell, My Lovely," "Stardust Memories," and "The Verdict," in which she was famously smacked around by Paul Newman. More recently, in 2003's "Swimming Pool," the 59-year-old Rampling attracted a lot of attention for a nude scene. Kent directed the recent Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha.

The show is playing at the NT’s Cottesloe Theatre. It runs until Sept. 15.

For more information, call (0)20 7452 3000.

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