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As You Desire Me

by LUIGI PIRANDELLO

in a new version by HUGH WHITEMORE

is presented at the Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, WC2 from Friday 21 October for a thirteen week season to Sunday 22 January. The press night was on Thursday 27 October.
The cast includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Bob Hoskins, Margaret Tyzack, John Carlisle, Richard Lintern, Finbar Lynch. It is directed by Jonathan Kent, with design by Paul Brown, lighting by Mark Henderson. Sound is by Paul Groothius with music by Tim Sutton. AS YOU DESIRE ME is produced by Duncan C Weldon & Paul Elliott, Ambassador Theatre Group, Tulchin/Bartner Productions and Eric Abraham.

Elma is a singer in a sleazy 1930s Berlin night-club. She was the victim of an appalling assault during the First World War and, as a result, lost her memory. A man appears and tells her that she is, in fact, the wife of an Italian aristocrat. A new life awaits her. But when she goes to Italy to pursue this dream, she finds unexpected problems and disappointments. Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) wrote the play, ‘Come tu mi vuoi’ in 1930 for the celebrated Italian actress Marta Abba, who was his mistress. ‘As You Desire Me was on Broadway in 1931 with Judith Anderson. It was in the West End at The Royalty Theatre (now Peacock) in 1934. ‘As You Desire Me’, the 1932 film, very loosely based on the play, starred Greta Garbo, Erich von Stroheim and Melvyn Douglas.

Kristin Scott Thomas was Masha in ‘Three Sisters’ at the Playhouse in 2003. She has recently finished filming ‘Chromophobia’ with Ralph Fiennes and Penelope Cruz. Her extensive film career includes her BAFTA Award winning performance in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. She was nominated for an Oscar for her role in ‘The English Patient’. She was in Racine’s ‘Bérénice’ in Paris 2001. Bob Hoskins was in the 1982 National production of ‘Guys and Dolls’. His many Awards include the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Cannes New York and Los Angeles Critics. His notable roles have been in Dennis Potter’s ‘Pennies From Heaven’, ‘The Long Good Friday’, the blockbuster ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and in ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘TwentyFourSeven’. He is soon to be seen in Stephen Frears ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’. Hugh Whitemore has written many plays for the West End and worldwide. There have been film adaptations of ‘Breaking The Code’, ‘Pack of Lies’, ‘The Best of Friends’. His Award winning screenplays include ‘The Gathering Storm’ and ‘A Dance To The Music of Time’. Jonathan Kent was joint Artistic Director of the Almeida for over 10 years. Many of his productions transferred to the West End. Last year he directed ‘Hecuba’ at the Donmar, also designed by Paul Brown. He directed Edward Bond’s ‘Lear’ at Sheffield earlier this year.

Playhouse Theatre Box Office 0870 0606631 bking fee
Northumberland Avenue WC2 Running Time 1 hr 30 mins
Perfs Eves 7.30pm Tues to Sat: Mats Wed, Sat 3.00pm, Sun 4.00pm
Tickets £17.50 to £42.50 Standing £11.00:
Tubes: Embankment/Charing Cross

2 August 2006