Heads Up: The Leisure Society

Supermodel drops in to the dinner party from hell

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

What are we talking about?

A starry new West End production of François Archambault's satire, a dark comedy in which a yuppie dinner party spirals out of control.

Elevator Pitch

A supermodel comes to tea ....

Prime Movers

Actor and director Matthew "Harry" Burton takes the latter job for this; a friend and somewhat of a protégé of Harold Pinter's, he had a debut directorial hit with the playwright's The Dumb Waiter, also at the Trafalgar Studios.

The Stars

The big celebrity news is that it will star supermodel Agyness Deyn. The chisel-boned Brit will be making her stage debut, although she has acted on screen as a strong-willed stripper in the movie Pusher, soon to be released. She's joined by Ed Stoppard, making a return to theatre after stints in TV, including Upstairs Downstairs.

Early Buzz

Fashion rag Grazia got excited: "News reaches us that we're set to see a whole lot more of the Brit model as she makes the move from walking the runway to treading the boards. We also know that the play is a 'toxic comedy' offering a 'glimpse into a grotesque world of self-indulgent excess'. Isn't that fitting for the superduper model who's more than familiar with the fashion high life?" The Evening Standard reported on Deyn's realisation that "acting was a passion" while working on the film, quoting the model as saying, "When I did Pusher in the summer, it was like: this is what I'm supposed to be doing."

Insider Knowledge

Both the director and actor of the show are following in their fathers' footsteps: Burton is the son of broadcaster and director Humphrey Burton, while Stoppard is the offspring of – you guessed it – playwright Sir Tom.

It's great that...

Such high-wattage stars, bringing such high expectation levels with them – whether it be genuine excitement at the glitz or snobbish suspicion – will be coming to the teeny Trafalgar Studios 2, which has fewer than 100 seats. Promises to be intimate.

It's a shame that...

However well Deyn performs, it will inevitably reawaken all those model-turned-actress clichés.

Hit Potential

Sure to be a hit with punters, and sounds like a fun romp; how Deyn fares in the spotlight, only time – and no doubt the less-forgiving critics – will tell.

The Details

The Leisure Society is at Trafalgar Studios 2, London SW1 (londontheatredirect.com), 28 February to 31 March.