Thesp leads Brit revival

Alan Cumming will return to the British stage in the fall in the lead role in a revival of “Bent,” Martin Sherman’s celebrated drama of personal politics.

Sonia Friedman is producing the play at London’s Trafalgar Studios in a new production by Daniel Kramer, the young helmer whose star has been on the rise since his London reworking of “Hair.”

The role of Max, a homosexual imprisoned by the Nazis, was created by Ian McKellen in the 1979 Royal Court production, which transferred to the West End and then to Broadway with Richard Gere. The play has since been produced in more than 40 countries.

“From a social perspective, it would be wonderful if this play about personal and political freedom had gone out-of-date,” Sherman told Daily Variety. “It hasn’t. Not only that, it has become even more pertinent. That’s not just about gay identity, but the fact that the second act takes place in a detention camp at a time when the U.S. and U.K. are using not dissimilar camps for political suspects.”

Cumming starred as Macheath on Broadway in the just-shuttered Roundabout revival of “The Threepenny Opera.” He won the Tony for actor in a musical in 1998 for the same company’s “Cabaret.”

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