Kidman set to star in London ‘Blue Room’

Play to bow Sept. 23 for five-week run

LONDON — Nicole Kidman will become the latest Hollywood star to glitter on the London stage when she makes her West End theater debut this fall in David Hare’s “The Blue Room.”

The play is scheduled to open Sept. 23 at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s Covent Garden, with Sam Mendes directing. It will run for five weeks.

Kidman will star opposite British actor Iain Glenn in a two-hander loosely adapted by Hare from Arthur Schnitzler’s “La Ronde.” The two thesps will play five different couples in complex romantic entanglements.

The Donmar was originally planning to stage the play next year, but Kidman’s availability has prompted the production to be brought forward, subject to approval from the Schnitzler estate which has yet to be granted.

While this will be Kidman’s first stage outing in London, she has extensive theater experience back home in Australia. She will be paid the Equity minimum of $410 a week.

Other Hollywood stars who have recently brought their glamour to the West End include Kevin Spacey, currently appearing in “The Iceman Cometh,” Juliette Binoche, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.

Kidman and husband Tom Cruise have effectively become London residents in the past year and a half, because of their co-starring roles in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” now entering its 15th month of production.

Meanwhile, director Mendes, the Donmar’s artistic director who is fresh from Broadway success with his production of “Cabaret,” is heading in the opposite direction. He will make his film directing debut on DreamWorks’ “American Beauty” early next year (Daily Variety, June 16).

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