Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
A NEW production of Ariel Dorfman's multi award-winning drama,
Death and the Maiden, will open at North London's
King's Head Theatre on July 26, 2004, (previews
from July 20), for a limited season of just six weeks.
A human rights activist for many years, Dorfman began writing
Death and the Maiden in the mid-1980s, when he was exiled
from Pinochet's Chile, and it wasn't until 1990, when Chile reverted
to democracy, that the work was completed.
That it's set in a South American country after a long period
of dictatorship, should then, come as no surprise.
And in focusing on Paulina, who, through her husband, meets a
man she thinks tortured her years before during the regime, it
poses a moral dilemma - should she risk seeking her revenge while
there's even the remotest possibility that she might be mistaken?
Dorfman's books have been translated
into more than 30 languages and his plays performed in over 90
Death and the Maiden premiered in July 1991, at the
Royal Court Theatre, and starred Juliet Stevenson as Paulina,
Michael Byrne, as her husband, and Bill Patterson, as Dr Miranda.
It subsequently transferred to the West End and won both the
Time Out and Olivier Awards for Best Play.
A year later, it premiered on Broadway with an extremely high-profile
cast - Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman.
And in 1994, Sigourney Weaver and Sir Ben Kingsley took the lead
roles in Roman Polanski's big screen version.
The new production will star America's Angelica Torn, as Paulina,
Rupert Wickham, as her husband, and Leigh Lawson, as the doctor.
Death and the Maiden is directed by Paul Alexander and
produced by Philip Emanuel and the King's Head.