National Theatre postpones Count of Monte Cristo play
Story by Jack Foley
THE National Theatre has postponed indefinitely its Christmas production of The Count of Monte Cristo because the ambitious production requires “more development time”.
A statement on the theatre website reveals that the show, which has already started selling tickets for its scheduled run between November 2012 and January 2013, had been “put back”.
But elaborating further, writer Richard Bean, of award-winning One Man, Two Guvnors fame, told the BBC he “just couldn’t get the script to work”.
“If anyone has ever read the book, I think they’ll sympathise with me,” he said. “It’s a difficult task and first time round I failed on it really. I’m not ashamed to say that.”
Bean went on to say that he found Alexandre Dumas’s classic 1,200-page novel, which was first published in 1844, to be “all plot and action”, adding that it had “very little characterisation”.
Hence, by staying faithful to the book, he realised his script “hadn’t got the right balance for the stage”.
“The audience has to sit and watch these people and kind of get under their skins a bit… at the moment I haven’t managed to achieve that,” he admitted.
Ticketholders have been told that The National hopes to continue with the project, although Bean couldn’t be specific on what will happen next in terms of when a re-booking might occur.
“I don’t think it will be straight away,” he added. “We need a bit more time and a bit more work.”
A replacement production will be announced shortly.