UPDATE: read our review of Paul Mescal in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.
All-round Irish indie heartthrob Paul Mescal makes his post-‘Normal People’ return to the London stage by flying in the face of his sensitive image as the TV adaptation’s Connell to take on a rather different fictional creation: Stanley Kowalski, the violent antagonist of Tennessee Williams’s all-time-classic play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.
A masterpiece about disgraced former schoolteacher Blanche DuBois’s fateful decision to stay with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley one hot summer, the revival will be directed by Rebecca Frecknell who helmed a phenomenal revival of Williams’s overlooked ‘Summer and Smoke’ a few years back – and most recently directed the huge Eddie Redmayne-starring West End revival of ‘Cabaret’.
Mescal has done one play in London before – ‘The Plough and the Stars’ back in 2018. But it’s fair to say that his star has risen a fair amount since then: Stanley is one of the most iconic roles in theatre, most famously played by Marlon Brando in the original 1947 Broadway production and subsequent film. It’s a play full of heavyweight roles, with the wonderful Lydia Wilson taking on the role of Blanche, and star of sitcom ‘We Are Lady Parts’ Anjana Vasan playing Stella.
It’s a pretty serious new season from the Almeida, kicking off as it does with ‘Tammy’ (Oct 13-Dec 3) a new musical about Tammy Faye – the American evangelist and improbable LGBT ally – written by the tremendous combination of Elton John, Jake Shears and James Graham.
Next year on there’s a new play set in 1640 about witchcraft and class from rising star Lulu Raczka called ‘Women, Beware the Devil’ (Feb 11-Mar 25 2023); the season is rounded out with the UK premiere of Pulitzer-winning US playwright Lynn Nottage’s ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ (Apr 4-May 27 2023) about a pair of women who flee oppression at home in 1964 and seek refuge on a remote honeybee farm.
‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is at the Almeida Theatre, Dec 10-Feb 4 2023. Ticket to it and ‘Tammy’ will go on sale Tuesday Sep 6 at noon.
The best new London theatre shows to book for in 2022.