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Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.
Cate Blanchett will return to the London stage to take on the juicy role of Margo Channing in a new theatrical adaptation of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 film All About Eve. Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Stage Productions will bring the classic backstage drama to the West End in spring 2018.
One of the signature screen roles of Bette Davis, Margo is a celebrated star of the New York stage who allows fawning acolyte Eve Harrington, played by Anne Baxter in the movie, to get close to her, only to regret it later when Eve proves a supreme opportunist. The film was nominated for 14 Oscars and won six, including best picture.
White-hot Belgian experimental director Ivo van Hove will stage the production, for which exact dates and additional casting are to be announced.
Something of a specialist at retooling movies for the stage, van Hove has mounted productions based on the work of Ingmar Bergman, John Cassavetes and Luchino Visconti, including a theatrical adaptation of Obsession headlined by Jude Law, which is currently running in London.
Van Hove won a Tony Award in 2016 for his reimagining of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, which starred Mark Strong. He followed on Broadway with another acclaimed Miller revival, The Crucible, with a starry cast that included Saoirse Ronan, Ben Whishaw, Sophie Okonedo, Ciaran Hinds and Bill Camp. More recently, he directed Ruth Wilson in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at London’s National Theatre.
A best supporting actress Oscar winner in 2005 for The Aviator and a best actress winner in 2014 for Blue Jasmine, Blanchett made her Broadway debut this season in The Present, starring opposite Richard Roxburgh.
Her earlier New York stage appearances included A Streetcar Named Desire, Hedda Gabler, Uncle Vanya and The Maids, in productions that originated at Sydney Theatre Company, where she was co-artistic director from 2008-2013 with her husband Andrew Upton. Blanchett last appeared on the London stage in an acclaimed 1999 revival of David Hare’s Plenty.
All About Eve was previously adapted for the stage as a musical, Applause, which bowed on Broadway in 1970 with Lauren Bacall as Margo.
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