Payback time for LaBute

Schwimmer starrer recoups capitalization after six weeks

LONDON — “Some Girl(s)” is making some money: the Neil LaBute play, starring David Schwimmer in his British stage debut, has recouped its £400,000 ($730,000) West End capitalization after only six weeks at the Gielgud Theatre.

That means the rest is gravy for the producers during the limited run of the world preem, which is skedded to end Aug. 13 — though co-producer Clare Lawrence told Daily Variety there was a chance of an extension. (Show opened May 24.)

The payback is good news at a time when straight plays have been struggling to find an audience in London. Brian Friel’s latest, “The Home Place,” and the London preem of Off Broadway hit “The Countess” are among the shows that have been underperforming of late on the West End.

Lawrence said “Some Girl(s)” has been playing to 80% on average at the Gielgud, with recoupment abetted by a notable absence of the discounts that prevail in London legit. Biz wasn’t affected one way or the other by a pumped-up story in the London press alleging a frosty rapport between “Friends” star Schwimmer and Catherine Tate, one of his colleagues in an otherwise all-female cast.

The story was “refuted too quickly” to make a difference one way or the other, Lawrence said of various tabloid entries distorting a tongue-in-cheek diary column penned by Tate in the weekly New Statesman magazine.

Schwimmer may be sitting on a West End hit but he is also suffering from hay fever, added Lawrence. He is therefore cutting back his performance sked from eight shows a week to seven, with the elimination — effective immediately — of the midweek matinee.

“Some Girl(s)” marks Lawrence and co-producer Anna Waterhouse’s second West End success this year. Their revival in the spring of David Mamet’s “A Life in the Theater,” starring Joshua Jackson and Patrick Stewart, recouped costs during its 13-week run at the Apollo.

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