BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Sultry Kim Cattrall's still a lady of pleasure
21:26 GMT, 11 October 2012
Ageing disgracefully: Sex And The City's Kim Cattrall will star in Tennessee Williams's Sweet Bird Of Youth as faded movie star Alexandra del Lago
Kim Cattrall, who long ago ended her run as sex-hungry tigress Samantha Jones in Sex And The City, will play an even more predatory sexual animal when she makes her debut at the Old Vic.
The actress will star in Tennessee Williams’s Sweet Bird Of Youth as faded movie star Alexandra del Lago — she also likes to be called Princess Kosmonopolis, though if she was born with a silver spoon it was never in her mouth.
The play will be part of Kevin Spacey’s final season as artistic director at the Old Vic. During his tenure, Spacey has turned the theatre south of the Thames into a powerhouse venue.
Cattrall and director Marianne Elliott have been trying to get the play staged for some time but both have been busy. Now rehearsals are set for April, with performances due to begin at the Old Vic in June.
Ms Elliott is involved with the National Theatre’s War Horse, which she co-directed with Tom Morris. It has become an international hit and has a whopping 5 million advance at the New London Theatre.
The Princess in Sweet Bird Of Youth, who has outlived her own legend, accompanies her gigolo — the repugnant Chance Wayne — when he returns to his home town in Florida.
Once there, she holes up in a vulgar pink hotel suite, where she demands Chance satisfy her voracious appetite for sex — something she thinks will stop her ageing.
It’s a great role and Elliott, with her sublime but exacting directorial skills, will get the best out of Cattrall, who has found a home in the theatre these past few years having played in Private Lives and recently completed a run in Antony And Cleopatra at Chichester. Producers at the Old Vic are hoping an American leading man can be found to play Chance.
Long ago: Kim Cattrall (pictured with the Sex And The City cast in movie Sex And The City 2) has long ago ended her run as sex-hungry tigress Samantha Jones
Geraldine Page and Paul Newman created the parts of the Princess and Chance on stage and screen.
Nicole Kidman and James Franco were to have appeared in a version of the play on Broadway.
Nicole told me she had been keen to study the play’s theme of ageing and whether or not a career in the movies depends on youth and sexual allure.
‘Ageing in this business is something worth exploring,’ Nicole told me back in June.
However, James Franco withdrew and the production was shelved.
Rachel's got a great future behind her
Timely: Rachel McAdams will star in About Time with Domhnall Gleeson
Richard Curtis said he wanted a ‘different’ kind of leading man to lure his leading lady in his latest romantic comedy. He told me that when he was writing Four Weddings And A Funeral, he saw visions of John Gordon Sinclair, rather than Hugh Grant (who wasn’t picked until Curtis had seen 71 other actors).
He said he was heading more in the ‘lankier and quirkier direction’ when he cast Domhnall Gleeson to star opposite Rachel McAdams in his new film About Time, which deals with a young man who is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in the family can time-travel.
Gleeson’s character searches through the ages for a girlfriend and keeps bumping into Mary, played by Rachel, who works for a publisher.
Curtis said as he gets older, he’s more interested in his comedies being about ‘love, marriage and family’.
He was full of praise for Rachel, who every time she did a scene was able to ‘epitomise the emotions’ instantly.
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Joanne Froggatt, who plays loyal head housemaid Anna in Downton Abbey, is now a married lady on and off screen.
Last Saturday she wed partner James Cannon, who runs his own IT company, at a church ceremony attended by family and several co-stars and friends from Julian Fellowes’s phenomenally successful ITV drama.
As fans of the programme know, Anna’s married to valet John Bates (Brendan Coyle) and she spends most of her free time trying to prove that he didn’t kill off his first wife.
Joanne’s taking a short break from shooting scenes of her helping Lady Mary change frocks, to settle into nuptial bliss.
Alongside Downton, the actress will be seen playing a policewoman opposite James McAvoy in the film Filth.
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Rupert Everett’s portrait of Oscar Wilde is a stunning example of how an actor and a part can be ‘perfectly aligned’. Everett is portraying the infamous dramatist and poet in David Hare’s play The Judas Kiss, which will transfer from the Hampstead Theatre to the Duke of York’s, with performances starting on January 9.
Producer Robert Fox felt Everett’s performance was the best he’s given since his debut three decades ago in Another Country.
Fox should know — he produced that, too. ‘It’s one of those times when the actor and the part are perfectly aligned,’ he said. ‘He totally understands Oscar Wilde — and David Hare totally understands Oscar Wilde.
‘Rupert’s the right age to play Wilde, and in a sense it’s his moment again, just as it was when he arrived in Another Country. Lightning strikes again,’ Fox told me. Everett has been working on a film script about Wilde’s last days in Paris — another reason why he innately understands his subject.
The Judas Kiss contains plenty of male nudity (a maid also blushes, unclothed, for a moment), so perhaps it’s not one for your Aunt Ada. Although on second thoughts, it might be just the ticket.
‘Look, there are all shapes and sizes on stage, and women and men are equally as happy to see it all. I would say it’s exactly what the doctor ordered,’ Fox said. One of the chaps who disrobes and lets it dangle is Freddie Fox, one of Fox’s nephews. ‘He plays Lord Alfred Douglas rather well,’ Fox added drily.
The play, directed by Neil Armfield, also features Cal Macaninch, Ben Hardy, Kirsty Oswald, Alister Cameron and Tom Colley.