Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail reports that screen and stage star Kristin Scott-Thomas is to lead a new adaptation of PHEDRE at the National Theatre in 2020.
The production, based on French tragedian Jean Racine’s 1677 play, is to be adapted and directed by Simon Stone, whose similar reimaging of Lorca’s YERMA at the Young Vic in 2016 and 2017 won major acclaim. Stone’s YERMA won the Olivier Award for Best Revival whilst star Billie Piper won the Best Actress Award. The production transferred to New York in 2017.
Stone’s PHEDRE would mark Scott-Thomas’ first stage production since 2015 when she starred as Queen Elizabeth II in a West End engagement of Peter Morgan’s THE AUDIENCE. Scott-Thomas is a five-time Olivier Award-nominee having previously appeared on stage in productions such as ELECTRA at the Old Vic, BETRAYAL in the West End and THE SEAGULL at the Royal Court and on Broadway, for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2008. In her screen-roles, Scott-Thomas is a five-time BAFTA-nominee with main roles in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Nowhere Boy and The Darkest Hour. Scott-Thomas is currently filming a new film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Scott Thomas said: ‘This is my dream come true, to do this play, with this director, at the National Theatre! I’m so excited about PHEDRE,’ seemingly confirming the report.
Racine’s PHEDRE is based on the Ancient Greek myth about Theseus, Phedre and Hippotalya. It was last performed at the National Theatre in 2009 in an adaptation by British poet laureate Ted Hughes. The production was directed by Nicholas Hytner and starred Helen Mirren in the title role. If Stone’s adaptation of YERMA was anything to go by, the story of PHEDRE will be radically reimagined by the writer / director.
According to the Daily Mail, PHEDRE will run at the National Theatre from ‘late next year’. Details such as dates and venues are still to be announced.
In related National Theatre news, the Daily Mail also reports that executives are considering a stage adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the basis for the mega-hit HBO series Game of Thrones which concluded its television run this year.
Details for the production are very sparse, but Bamigboye reports that the NT will be looking to create the production as a money-spinner for the theatre, akin to previous productions such as WAR HORSE, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME and ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, which still produces handsome royalties for the National.
Don’t expect to hear anything soon about this one though, as a National Theatre spokesperson emailed the Daily Mail to say: ‘We currently have absolutely no plans for a Game Of Thrones production.’ Coming from a trusted source like Bamigboye though, watch this space!