Britain's big-screen draws seek out success on stage

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The Independent Culture

Widely acclaimed as among the best film actors of their generation, some of Britain's top box-office draws are to combine their screen careers with the back-to-basics experience of live theatre.

Widely acclaimed as among the best film actors of their generation, some of Britain's top box-office draws are to combine their screen careers with the back-to-basics experience of live theatre.

Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Sean Pertwee and the other members of the film company Natural Nylon plan to launch a new theatre company that will enable them to perform in front of a live audience whenever they wish.

The group, whose name has not yet been decided, is in talks with the Ambassador Theatre Group, one of the West End's largest, and owner of some of the best-known theatres in the capital, including the Donmar, Wyndham's and the Piccadilly, about using their venues for productions.

Although McGregor has returned to the stage periodically over the past few years, his main work has been in films. The star of the new series of Star Wars films has made 19 films back to back in the past seven years.

But McGregor has always made clear that his first love is the theatre.

"Films are so bitty and your work in them is done in such minuscule detail that it's great to get on stage and tell a story in a play from start to finish in two or three hours," he said. "So I'm going to keep going back to work in the theatre, it's too much fun not to."

McGregor is currently in Canada filming a wildlife documentary for the BBC but his mother, Carol, who works as his personal assistant, said her son loved the theatre and was keen to return.

It is understood the actors want to produce plays as vehicles for themselves in between films.

Jude Law, who starred in The Talented Mr Ripley, is already an award-winning stage actor who has played opposite Kathleen Turner on Broadway as well as appearing in the West End and the National Theatre. Jonny Lee Miller, of Trainspotting, Sean Pertwee, of Event Horizon and Law's wife, Sadie Frost, are also all keen on returning to the theatre.

One of the projects undertaken by Natural Nylon is a script about the life of the Elizabethan playwright and spy, Christopher Marlowe.

A spokeswoman for the Ambassador Theatre Group said that an announcement about the launch of the new theatre company would be made in the middle of this month.

"The details have yet to be finalised but as far as we know everything is still on schedule," she said.

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