Deathtrap opens tonight, 7 September, at the Noel Coward Theatre in London, and marks the first big premiere of the West End’s new autumn season.
The high-profile revival of Ira Levin’s comic murder thriller stars acclaimed actor Simon Russell Beale as best-selling author Sidney Bruhl, alongside Jonathan Groff (Glee) as Clifford and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as his wife Myra. The cast also includes legendary American actress Estelle Parsons (Bonnie & Clyde) as Helga.
The play is directed by Matthew Warchus, who won a Tony award last year for his production of God of Carnage, and has recently directed La Bete at the Comedy Theatre.
The producers of Deathtrap have gone all out to garner attention for the show, with a groundbreaking promotional video released that brings a big-screen suspense feel to the campaign (watch the trailer here).
There has also been much pre-opening hype about the shocking nature of the production, with people fainting in early previews, suggesting that Warchus is playing up the thriller elements of the show as much as the comedy (terrifying audiences is definitely the in thing, with Ghost Stories doing good business a few blocks further down St Martin’s Lane).
The 1978 thriller, which was made into a film starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, sees good-looking young author Clifford turn up at Bruhl’s Connecticut home with a brilliant new stage thriller, at a time with Bruhl’s career has hit the skids. Much hilarious twisting and turning ensues.
Its author Ira Levin has written a number of celebrated screenplays and plays including The Stepford Wives, Rosemary’s Baby, The Boys from Brazil and A Kiss Before Dying.
Deathtrap is produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, producers of Brief Encounter, Equus and recent success Calendar Girls.