Tuesday, May 30, 2006

London’s Theatrical Hodge-Podge

London’s Theatrical Hodge-Podge

I’ve talked at length about the excellent Michael Grandage revival of Guys And Dolls in London’s West End. While I’ve devoted considerable attention to Ewan McGregor’s Sky Masterson and Jane Krakowski’s Miss Adelaide, I’ve also mentioned how Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell worked their magic in the roles of Nathan Detroit and Sarah Brown.

Last week I noted that Russell has now moved on to portray Dot in the critically-acclaimed Sunday In The Park With George in the West End. Now, it’s time to devote some well-deserved ink to Hodge, who gave an inspired and truly brilliant performance of his own in Guys And Dolls. Not only is he about to take on a role about as diametrically opposed to Nathan Detroit as an actor can get, he’s also about to direct a revival of one of the British Isle’s favorite wartime comedies (see photo).

First up, Hodge takes to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre stage this evening in the title role of Titus Andronicus, possibly one of The Bard’s goriest plays about the carnages of war. In addition to Hodge’s participation, what makes this production even more of interest is that for the first time in its history, the normally open-air Globe will be covered for this performance in order to accommodate the elaborate set design by William Dudley. Titus Andronicus is slated to run until October 6.

Second, Hodge will helm the revival of See How They Run -- a World War II-era comedy about mistaken identities in a quaint English village whose citizens prepare themselves for invasion by Nazi Germans. This production is due to open at London's Duchess Theatre on June 29.

Alas, while he has been previously nominated for an Olivier Award for his supporting work in The Caretaker six years ago, Hodge has yet to make an appearance on the Great White Way. With all his endeavors on the London stage, it’s anyone’s guess when American audiences may have the opportunity to be charmed by this dynamic and gifted actor in person, other than to catch a flight to the United Kingdom. But movie audiences might have their chance when the film “Scenes of a Sexual Nature” with fellow Guys And Dolls alum McGregor and the amazing Eileen Atkins, among others, opens sometime later this year.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Titus Andronics tickets.
Click here for See How They Run tickets.
Related Stories:
Sheen/Langella to Portray Frost/Nixon in London (June 2, 2006)
Swayze Lands London's Detroit Role (June 1, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #2 – Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre, London, UK) (May 26, 2006)

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