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24 September 2014

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Stars keep shining - 24.07.02
Susan Sarandon
Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon may be persuaded down south following her appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe
spacer Our critic Mark Shenton finds the stars shining brightly in the West End and beyond...

Get talking! Seen something you loved or loathed in the theatre? Give us your views at:


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Mark Shenton
Mark Shenton

Gwynnie, Madge and Matt Damon may have departed the West End, but still they keep comin'.

This week sees the arrival of movie and tv stars Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan at the Comedy Theatre, playing two brothers reunited after a 23-year absence, in On An Average Day.

Tim RobbinsNext month, husband-and-wife movie team Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (pictured left) will bring the current off-Broadway hit The Guys, about the firemen who attended the World Trade Centre attack, to the Edinburgh Fringe for two performances only, on 14 and 15 August at the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Perhaps they'll be persuaded down south to the capital afterwards…

Glen and Glenn

September brings the battle of the Glen(n)s to the National Theatre: Glenn Close and British actor Iain Glen star in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (public booking opens 29 July, and don't delay).

There are also rumours of two Andersons on the way to the West End - Gillian, the X-Files star, in a new play by Michael Weller, What the Night is For, and Pamela, possibly, in a revival of the 50s Broadway play The Girl Can't Help It.

Already confirmed for October, meanwhile, is Jane Krakowski, best known as Ally McBeal's secretary Elaine Vassel, leading the cast of another off-Broadway import, Fuddy Mears (Arts Theatre).

Two dames

David Hare
David Hare's The Breath of Life will feature Dames Maggi Smith and Judi Dench

But its not just American stars that will be gracing London stages in the autumn: leading the homegrown returnees are Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, seeking to prove there is nothing like two dames as they play two women who have had an affair with the same man in the premiere of David Hare's The Breath of Life (Haymarket, October).

Also making a more rare stage return is Brenda Blethyn, once a stalwart of the London theatre in the 70s and early 80s, but now best known for such films as A River Runs Through It (opposite Robert Redford) and her Oscar-nominated turn in Secrets and Lies. She will now star in the title role of Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession (Strand, October).


And, undeterred by the bad reviews she has received for two previous London stage appearances - in Bus Stop and The Graduate - Jerry Hall will be going smaller scale to Hampstead's tiny New End Theatre to star in a new American play, Benchmark, directed and co-written by Michael Rudman and opening in September.

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