Stage realism too much for Aussie helmer

'Devil's' collapsing thesp fine; BAM invites play stateside

SYDNEY — Theater director Gale Edwards’ heart has been racing over her adaptation of Jacobean tragedy “The White Devil,” which bowed Aug. 18 as a Sydney Theater Co. presentation at the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival.

At its final preview last week, thesp Hugo Weaving lost consciousness and slumped on the stage floor as his character Brachiano was strangled by two thugs, forcing a horrified Edwards to halt the show thinking the depiction of strangulation had been a tad too enthusiastic.

Publicists later said Weaving’s blackout was caused by influenza and exhaustion as the actor had only recently returned from the New Zealand set of “Lord of the Rings.”

BAM bid

Weaving, best-known overseas for his roles in “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “The Matrix,” could also have been sharing the shock and delight of Edwards at the work’s invitation to be part of March main-stage season at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The invite was issued by BAM executive producer Joseph Melillo, an Oz theater fan who is rumored to be including the Belvoir Street Theater’s “Cloudstreet” in a season of Aussie works late next year, after attending a “White Devil” preview where everyone maintained consciousness.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content