Monday, July 03, 2006

Alan Cumming Reportedly Bent on West End Role


Alan Cumming Reportedly Bent on West End Role

Tony Award-winning Scottish actor Alan Cumming, who just concluded a Broadway stint as Macheath in the latest incarnation of The Threepenny Opera, has been confirmed as part of the third London revival of Bent. The new version will be directed by Daniel Cramer and is currently set to open at the Trafalgar Studios on October 5.

Martin Sherman's seminal work begins in the underground nightclubs of 1934 Berlin and ends in Dachau, one of the most notorious Nazi death camps. The Nazi-era play is described by the London Theatre Guide as "a powerful and provocative look at the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust. A love story at its heart, Bent is a monument to the strength of the human spirit."

Bent was a critical favorite both in the West End and on Broadway when first performed in 1979. London's National Theatre ranked it as one of the top 100 plays of the 20th century. Sir Ian McKellen was awarded the 1979 Olivier (then known as the Society of London Theatre Awards) as the "Actor of the Year in a New Play" for his leading performance in Bent at London's Royal Court Theatre. Bent was later revived in the West End in 1990.

Beginning in late 1979, the Broadway version of Bent ran for 241 performances at the long-since razed New Apollo Theatre, and it was Tony nominated for Best Play. That production starred Richard Gere, David Dukes (who received a Tony nod), David Marshall Grant and Michael Gross.

Given Cumming's propensity for bleak subject matter -- including his award-winning first take on the Nazi era with the inspired revival of Cabaret -- it's not a reach to see him tackle this decidedly darker role.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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