Linda Marlowe is to star in a rare production of IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL, one of Tennessee Williams’ most daring and extraordinary plays.
In only its second London production in the 33 years since his death, IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL, directed by Robert Chevara, will run for a 6-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Tuesday 5 April – Saturday 14 May.
Mark is a world-famous artist. He and his grasping wife Miriam are caught in a fiercely symbiotic bond of need and hatred. Having played midwife to his incredible career, Mark has been both Miriam’s validation and despair. Now she wants to leave, afraid that Mark is in the grip of a breakdown and he can no longer create. Mark, however, senses a breakthrough coming. He returns again and again to his canvases, which “demand what I can’t give them yet”. The scene is set both for a savage and witty dance of death, and an autobiographical meditation on creativity and envy of success.
IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL reunites the creative team behind the acclaimed 2012 sell-out production of Williams’ autobiographical Vieux Carré at the King’s Head Theatre in 2013, that later transferred to Charing Cross Theatre.
Linda Marlowe said: “I have loved Tennessee Williams plays since I was a young girl and have had the good fortune to play some of his famous female roles. Ten years ago, while I was in New York performing a solo show of some of Williams’ lesser-known short stories adapted for the stage, I came across IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL in a bookshop and swore Miriam Conley was a role I would one day play. Her humour, her wit, her manipulative ways, her toughness, her vulnerability, her fear of dying without her control over how she dies, all make her one of Williams’ great heroines.”
Director Robert Chevara said: “This is one of Tennessee Williams’ most unique, audacious and exceptional plays. Comparable to Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, it is suffused throughout with Williams’ dazzling poetic vision and incomparable drama. Williams’ later plays have traditionally been considered more experimental than his earlier, more linear work. However, a critical re-evaluation of his later output is underway. In this play he creates a new theatrical language to mirror the language of visual art – a broken, fragmented, written form of Cubism, exploring how two people, together for a lifetime, can no longer communicate. Bold and brilliant, the play proves that Williams never stopped exploring form or expanding his own artistic horizons. In his Williams biography ‘Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh’, John Lahr observes of the play that it has “intellectual sinew, moral complexity and psychological nuance”. This is a rare chance to experience an important, game-changing work from Tennessee Williams’ rich and rewarding late period, in only its second London production since 1983, the year of his death.”
More cast to be announced.
Linda Marlowe worked with Steven Berkoff over a 25-year span as his leading lady in most of his plays, touring internationally and in the West End. Her association with him gave rise to her first solo show, Berkoff’s Women. She followed that with No Fear, Mortal Ladies Possessed, Believe, The World’s Wife, written by Carol Ann Duffy, the poet Laureate, and Miss Havisham’s Expectations. She has toured these shows nationally and internationally and won The What’s On Stage, Peoples Choice Theatre Award as Best Actress in her solo show Berkoff’s Women, seen in the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre. In her many TV and film appearances she has worked with Richard Burton, Peter OToole, Albert Finney, Adrien Brody and Gillian Anderson.
Robert Chevara is an award-winning theatre and opera director. He is the recipient of a cultural study award from the Japanese Government, as well as a Churchill Fellowship award. His production of Vieux Carré won ‘Best Revival of a Play Award’ 2013 from Front Row Dress. His numerous theatre productions include Tennessee Williams’ The Chorus Girl Plays (Tennessee Williams Festival, Provincetown 2013), the world premiere of Lionel Bart’s musical Quasimodo (Kings Head Theatre); and The Glass Menagerie (TheatreSpace, London); As You Like It (English Theatre Berlin); Fair!, devised play with music (NYT at Bullwood Hall Prison, Essex); Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls (Hau Theatre, Berlin); Hotter than Rochester by Paul Doust (Théâtre du Neslé. Paris); JM Barrie’s Mary Rose; Strindberg’s Easter (both TheatreSpace, London); Eva Peron/ The Four Twins, a double-bill by Copi (BAC). Last year he directed the Danish premiere of Mike Bartlett’s award winning Cock / Bull, the first time they’d ever been presented as a double bill, the opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Copenhagen Opera Academy and the world premiere of Alexis Gregory’s Bright Skin Light at Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Tuesday 5 April – Saturday 14 May