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London debut for Dawson Creek's Joshua Jackson

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

JOSHUA Jackson will make his West End debut alongside veteran actor, Patrick Stewart, in a revival of David Mamet's 1977 two-hander, A Life in the Theatre which opens at the Apollo Theatre, in Shaftesbury Avenue, on February 2, 2005 (previews from January 27).

The Canadian-born actor became a heart-throb for his portrayal of bad boy, Pacey (a part, incidently, that he played for six years) in TV's Dawson's Creek, which ended in 2003.

Although he hasn't actually appeared on stage since the age of eight, he already has a number of big screen films to his credit - Cruel Intentions, Scream 2 and The Laramie Project - and can be seen soon in Cursed, with Christina Ricci, and Shadow Dancer,with Harvey Keitel.

Patrick Stewart, on the other hand, is no stranger to the stage and, as recently as 2003, took the title role in the West End revival of Ibsen's The Master Builder.

Stewart will, of course, always be remembered for his roles in Star Trek and X Men, although he is, in fact, a classically-trained actor and an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. As such, his portrayals have included King John, Shylock, Henry IV and Oberon.

His other stage credits include The Tempest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and, in both the UK and USA, his Olivier Award-winning, one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

A Life in the Theatre is a semi-autobiographical story about two actors - aspiring newcomer, John, and flamboyant veteran, Robert. While working together in a fading, small town rep, Robert takes on the role of mentor, both on and off stage, thereby preparing John for his 'life in theatre'.

A Life in the Theatre was previously staged in the West End, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and starred Denholm Elliott and Samual West, the new artistic director of Sheffield Theatre.

The new production will be directed by Lindsay Posner, who was responsible for two of Mamet's other works - Oleanna with Aaron Eckhart and Julia Stiles, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago with Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver.

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