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Cate Blanchett will return to the London stage next January, starring opposite Stephen Dillane at the National Theatre in the world premiere of Martin Crimp’s When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other: Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.
Directed by Katie Mitchell, the production will mark the National debut for Blanchett, who is currently on screens alongside Sandra Bullock in the female heist franchise spinoff, Ocean’s 8.
Crimp’s play uses Richardson’s classic 1740 epistolary novel, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, as a provocation, coaxing contemporary debate out of the book’s story of a maidservant subjected to inappropriate advances from her country landowner master following the death of her mother.
Throwing five characters into a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance, the drama explores the messy, often violent nature of desire, and the fluid, complicated roles played by men and women. “Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens,” reads the play’s tagline. “Show me how much power you really have.” Further infomation on the production, including dates and additional casting, is expected in the fall.
Blanchett previously appeared on the London stage in David Hare’s Plenty in 1999. Her extensive theater credits include numerous productions that originated at the Sydney Theatre Company both before and during her tenure there as co-artistic director. Many of those then toured to New York, including Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire, Uncle Vanya, The Maids and Chekhov’s The Present, in which she made her Tony-nominated Broadway debut in 2017.
A two-time Oscar winner for her performances in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, Blanchett had planned to play the famous Bette Davis role of Margo Channing in director Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of All About Eve, which originally was to open on London’s West End in spring this year before the actress withdrew due to scheduling conflicts.
That production is now on hold until next year, with Gillian Anderson tipped to star, according to unconfirmed reports.
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