Thursday Theatre News: Chariots of Fire, Danny DeVito, Noel Sullivan, Abigail’s Party and Educating Rita

This week’s London Theatre update comes with the news that for the eighth consecutive year, London’s theatre reached record revenue levels. The sales figures for the Society of London Theatre’s members was more than £500 million for the third year in a row. Congratulations to all involved: it’s just another nod to the fact that London’s theatre scene is one of the greatest in the world.

So what’s coming up in this melting pot of money, success and creativity? Well, this week I’ve learnt the Hampstead Theatre is getting in on the mania for all things Olympic by staging a theatrical adaptation of the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. The play will run from 9 May to 16 June. Mike Bartlett (who wrote Cock and Earthquakes in London) is writing the script, and Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director, Edward Hall will direct. More details on the casting of the two runners (Scottish Christian Eric Liddell and English Jew Harold Abrahams) in due course.

Two chaps who won’t be donning the running shorts(!) are Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths, because they’re to appear in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre.

The play is a classic comedy of showbiz and friendship from the 1970s; or you might know it from the Oscar-winning film starring George Burns and Walter Matthau; or the high-profile TV version with Woody Allen and Peter Falk. This will be DeVito’s West End debut; he’s better known for his film acting, including Terms of Endearment, Batman Returns, Junior and Twins. In contrast, his co-star Richard Griffiths is a regular on the London stage, including The History Boys, The Habit of Art, Rules of the Game, and The White Guard. It’ll make an interesting pairing: I can’t wait.

This Week’s London Cast News

More next week.

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