Ecstasy at the Duchess Theatre
Mike Leigh’s 1979 Play Set to Appear in the West End from April 2011
It was first staged in 1979 and returned for a recent run at the Hampstead Theatre in London. Now, “Ecstasy” is set to be revived once again as it makes its way to the Duchess Theatre in April. The West End show will be a revival of the Hampstead production, which was seen by London theatre audiences in early 2011, and marks the latest opportunity that audiences have had to witness the show in the capital and the latest chance that they have had to experience the work of one of the UK’s best known stage and film directors.
Ecstacy follows four characters in Kilburn, London, and looks at the frustrations and desperation in their blue-collar lives. One of them is Jean, a garage attendant whose frustrations have become suicidal as she continues to struggle through life and sleep with an abundance of ill-suited men. We join the character as she welcomes her friend Dawn, her children, her husband and Len to stay and we observe their drunken anger at their current situation. Written by Mike Leigh, the show originally starred Sheila Kelley, Julie Walters, Ron Cook, Rachel Davies, Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent in lead roles.
In the 2011 revival at the Hampstead, actors such as Sinead Matthews and Sian Brooke were a part of the cast, though the cast for the upcoming West End version is yet to be confirmed.
Mike Leigh is one of the best known theatre and film directors in the UK. His stage credits include “The Box Play” and “The Last Crusade of Five Little Nuns” in the 1960s, “Abigail’s Party” and “Ecstacy” from the 1970s, “Smelling a Rat” in the 1980s and recent productions like “Two Thousand Years” in 2005. For the screen, his films include “Topsy-Turvy”, “Vera Drake” and the more recent “Another Year”.
The show will appear in a year in which The National Theatre will be welcoming a new show from the acclaimed artist. Though details are yet to be revealed, the show is due to appear on the Cottesloe stage in the Autumn.
Audiences can pick up theatre tickets to witness “Ecstasy” when it appears at the Duchess Theatre from Tuesday 12th April 2011 to Saturday 28th May 2011. It is then followed by Butley until Saturday 27th August 2011.