Runtime: 2h 15m
The multi-Academy Award-winning actress Amy Adams (American Hustle, Vice) is hitting the West End this summer in the role of Amanda Wingfield, a fading Southern matriarch desperate to control the fates of her two adult children. Tennessee Williams' play is a moving study of memory, family and rebellion. It comes directed by Jeremy Herrin (Wolf Hall, This House) in a production that's a hotly anticipated arrival at Duke of York's Theatre.
There’s a real buzz in the theatre world at the moment with news of a thoroughbred production to hit the London stage. Not only is a new production of The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed breakthrough hit coming to London's Duke of York’s Theatre on 23 May, but making her West-End debut in the lead role is six times Academy Award nominated actress Amy Adams.
London’s Duke of York’s Theatre on St Martin’s Lane has played host to many famous names in its history, including Sir Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom and exceptional plays – a fitting venue for this iconic play.
Like Tennessee Williams’ other plays such as a Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie delivers memorable, complicated female characters, and the new London production is a superb opportunity to see Amy Adams flexing her acting chops as Amanda Wingfield. This is a woman scarred by her husband’s abandonment, whose driving ambition for her two grown-up children, the frustrated, financially insecure Tom and chronically shy Laura is suffocating them. Tom, looking back, relates how events unfold with tragic consequences. The ‘memory’ play draws on Tennessee Williams’ own life and is his most autobiographical, packing many an emotional punch. When The Glass Menagerie premiered in 1944, some short-sighted critics couldn’t handle the play’s dark, Southern Gothic themes and petitioned for a happier ending, but thankfully wiser voices won out and it went on to garner widespread praise on Broadway.
The Glass Menagerie features an award-winning cast including Tom Glynn-Carney as the young Tom, Paul Hilton as the older Tom who narrates the story, Lizzie Annis as his fragile sister Laura, and Victor Alli as the Gentleman Caller coerced into attending dinner as a suitor for Laura. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, best-known for the compelling Wolf Hall Trilogy, The Glass Menagerie has the psychological depth, that you would expect of a writer of Tennessee Williams’ calibre at their creative peak, and Herrin is behind the intriguing decision to split the Tom character in two, complemented by Vicki Mortimer’s atmospheric set design.
For the chance to go to London’s Duke of York’s Theatre production you’ll need to book tickets quickly as The Glass Menagerie has a limited run of just 14 weeks. It’s one memory play that makes for absolutely unforgettable theatre.