Heads Up: Anna Christie

A Jude-icious choice: Law turns to the dark side in O'Neill
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The Independent Culture

What are we talking about?

A new production of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama.

Elevator Pitch

Hey Jude, bye Grandage.

Prime Movers

Rob Ashford directs, following his success with A Streetcar Named Desire, also at the Donmar. It will be one of the last productions of artistic director Michael Grandage's tenure at the theatre – he stands down in December.

The Stars

Jude Law is the big one; he plays Anna Christie's love interest. Ruth Wilson, who won praise for her stage performance in Through a Glass Darkly, as well as starring in Jane Eyre and Luther on the BBC, takes the title role. David Hayman (Trial & Retribution,) and Jenny Galloway (Cause Célèbre, Mamma Mia!) also appear.

The Early Buzz

Website Spoonfed has written "Jude Law plays sailor Mat Burke who's actually a bit of a git, and Law's always best when he has a dark edge to his character. Just look at the reception he got for his turn in the Donmar's Hamlet .... With Ashford at the helm, maybe this time around Law will get nominated for an Olivier Award and actually win – third time's a charm." Time Out commented that "There's no doubt that Jude Law blossomed under Michael Grandage's direction when he took on the role of his life in Hamlet ... Grandage is stepping down from the theatre that, under his directorship, has provided an intimate setting for the best (and starriest) Off-West End theatre in London. High profile alumni are lining up for his farewell season .... Wilson will play the eponymous tart with a heart, who is condemned by her absentee father and her adoring suitor when she reveals her past."

Insider Knowledge

Last time Wilson appeared at the Donmar – also under Ashford's direction in A Streetcar Named Desire – she won an Olivier award for Best Supporting Actress.

It's great that...

Casting Jude Law guarantees an audience for what promises to be a punchy revival.

It's a shame that...

Casting Jude Law guarantees people will mostly just talk about Jude Law.

Hit Potential

The star-power means it's sure to be a commercial hit; the combination of the quality cast and creative talents should mean it's a critical one too.

The Details

Anna Christie is at the Donmar Warehouse, London WC2 (donmarwarehouse.com), 4 August to 8 October.