'Brokeback Mountain' Starring Mike Faist and Lucas Hedges Headed to London's West End
Break out your best pair of cowboy boots and get ready for a night at the theater because a world premiere production of Brokeback Mountain is headed to @sohoplace in London's West End.
Brokeback Mountain will star Mike Faist (West Side Story) as Jack and Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea, Lady Bird) as Ennis, with both actors making their West End stage debuts. The new play was written by Ashley Robinson, and will be based on Annie Proulx's short story, not the 2005 Oscar-winning film.
"Brokeback Mountain has been recreated in several different forms, each with its own distinctive moods and impact," Proulx said in the play's announcement. "Ashley's script is fresh and deeply moving, opening sight lines not visible in the original nor successive treatments."
Robinson added: "I'm honored to be entrusted by Annie Proulx to bring new life in new form to her timeless and universal story. A story that means so much to so many, and will surely mean as much to a whole new generation."
The "play with music" will feature songs by Dan Gillespie Sells and it will be directed by Jonathan Butterell, and produced by Nica Burns with Adam Blanshay Productions, Lambert Jackson Productions and Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment. Sells, Butterell, and Burns all previously worked together on the hit musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
"I have loved working on this project with Ashley and Jonathan. The material and this complex story is inspiring to compose for," said Sells. "I've really enjoyed reconnecting with a genre of music I grew up with and using it to serve the drama of each moment. Plus I get to work with some legendary artists which is such an honor and a joy."
Before you start imagining Jack and Ennis breaking out in song on top of Brokeback Mountain, Sells' numbers will actually be performed by "The Balladeer," played by Eddi Reader, who will be joined onstage by her country band.
“Dan Gillespie Sells’ powerful and beautiful songs, sung by 'The Balladeer,' give voice to the tumultuous inner landscape of our wannabe cowboys (both young men of few words), and provide the scope of our vast and brutal outer landscape, not to mention allowing Proulx’s poetic prose to literally sing," explained Robinson.
Director Butterell added: “When Ashley approached us about collaborating on Brokeback Mountain, we were struck immediately by his deep connection to the world and community that Annie has so brilliantly written about over the years. He brought to the adaptation an authenticity and an understanding of these working class men, scraping to survive the harsh brutality of their environment and the insularity of thinking surrounding them, which ultimately leads to their tragedy.”
In case you haven't seen the movie or read the short story in a while, Brokeback Mountain is set in 1963 in Wyoming and "follows the relationship between Ennis and Jack, who take jobs on the isolated Brokeback Mountain, and all their certainties of life change forever as they flounder in unexpected emotional waters of increasing depth. This intense tale of an unresistible and hidden love spans 20 years and its tragic consequences."
Brokeback Mountain will run May 10-August 12 at @sohoplace in London.