Much excitement in the vicarage this morning when this news story pops up in my google alerts. Mr W has been linked to a new John Logan play, directed by Michael Grandage in the West End which stars Dame Judi Dench. It was early 2010 the last time he trod the boards (The Pride, pictured left).
Now there doesn't seem to be anything official so I can only speculate and I love to speculate.
Timing? It could be anytime from early to mid-September. Grandage is directing Red in Los Angeles but that opens at the beginning of August and directors don't tend to hang around long after press night has come and gone. Mr W hasn't got anything on his books at all at the moment (he's got four things coming out this year so he has been busy.)
Role? Peter Pan wouldn't be an immediate choice but Logan is inventive and I don't think this will be as straight forward as it might first appear. Naturally he's perfect to play the boy who never ages but I'm hoping for an edgier, more unexpected character or someone very silly and fun. Besides I don't think Mr W would sign up for something straightforward.
Theatre? The report says 'West End' which immediately makes my heart drop as I don't like the big old theatres. However it's unusual for the big theatres to put on new plays as they are a financial risk. Having Dame Judi, a bankable name, as star will no doubt ease nerves a little. Grandage has a connection with ATG from his stint at Artistic Director at the Donmar, and they have the following options:
Harold Pinter Theatre - Not listing anything after South Downs/Browning Version finishes on Aug 4 which may be a little early although anything big is unlikely to open until after the Olympics.
Wyndhams - Kings Speech finishes in July so a similar story to above.
Trafalgar Studios - it's a small theatre for a name such a Judi but they do tend to take more risks. Probably wishful thinking on my part but would be my first choice.
Vaudeville - What The Butler Saw finishes on Aug 25 which could potentially be good timing.
Duchess Theatre - Similar to the Wyndhams, Written On The Heart finishes 21 July. It's a smaller theatre and tends to have less obvious plays so a good candidate.
Noel Coward Theatre - Hayfever finishes at the beginning of June so could squeeze another show in before the Autumn. Would be surprised to see new writing showcased here though.
Novello - Similar to Noel Coward as Noises Off finishes at the end of June.
Theatre Royal Haymarket - Only booking One Man Two Guvnors until Sept 1 so potentially a strong candidate although they do tend to play it safe with their choices.
Where have I missed and am I barking up the wrong tree?
Aside from being excited by the potential prospect of Mr W on stage I'm also excited about the fact that he could be working with Grandage. Mr W does have a history of working with the same directors (Katie Mitchell, Philip Ridley, Tom Tykwer...). In Stanland it's because he's so nice that everyone just falls in love with him. If he gets on well with Grandage it will hopefully bode well for future stage outings ie not so long gaps in between.
I also must say what a picture of loveliness Dame Judi and Ben working together conjurs, they will no doubt be indavertently trying to out-sweet each other.
Do please pass on any news you hear on the topic - I can't have my eye on the internet all the time unfortunately.