‘Ashes’ courts Richardson

She'd play lead in Roundabout production

Miranda Richardson is being courted for the Roundabout Theater Co.’s planned production of Harold Pinter’s “Ashes to Ashes,” according to sources.

Richardson, who appeared most recently in the Robert Duvall’s “The Apostle,” has not yet signed a deal, but a source close to the production said signing could occur as early as next week.

Conversation piece

Richardson would play the female lead, Rebecca, in the play consisting largely of uninterrupted conversation between two characters, a couple suffering marital tension.

There was no word on who will play the male lead, Devlin, who was played by Stephen Rea (“The Crying Game”) in the 1996 London production.

Pinter himself directed that Royal Court version, which played to favorable reviews. He had demanded Lindsay Duncan play the role for which Richardson is now being courted. The switch to Richardson is seen as an unusual departure for Pinter, who is known to have strong attachments to those executing his plays.

Pinter, widely regarded as the most complex playwright of the post-WWII era, has returned to director Karel Reisz to helm. Reisz helmed Pinter’s screenplay for the pic “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” in 1981.

The American version of “Ashes” would bow Off Broadway at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater by the first of next year.

Richardson’s agent at William Morris Agency declined to comment other than to say a deal had not yet been done.

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