A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Starring Jim Broadbent, to Play Noel Coward Theatre This Holiday Season
Academy Award-winning actor Jim Broadbent makes his long-awaited return to the stage to play Scrooge in a new version of A Christmas Carol adapted by Patrick Barlow from Charles Dickens' classic story of greed, grief, ghoulish ghosts and eleventh-hour redemption.
From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Patrick Barlow's imaginative adaptation of A Christmas Carol will bring some of Dickens' most memorable characters to life at the Noël Coward Theatre this winter. Jim Broadbent will be joined by an exciting group of performers, to be announced shortly.
Coming together to create this innovative new work are some of our most loved and mischievous maverick theatre-makers. The play is written by Patrick Barlow (who also wrote the huge, long-running hit The 39 Steps) with whom Jim Broadbent performed for many years in Barlow's cult comedy troupe The National Theatre of Brent. A Christmas Carol is directed by Olivier award-winning Phelim McDermott, Artistic Director of Improbable, one of Britain's most inventive theatre companies, who is responsible for the iconic production Shockheaded Peter. McDermott also directed Theatre of Blood at the National Theatre in which Broadbent last appeared on stage. Joining them is the critically-acclaimed designer Tom Pye (The Testament of Mary, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Low Road) and Toby Sedgwick (War Horse, The 39 Steps) as Director of Movement, Peter Mumford will design the lighting and Gareth Fry will design sound.
A Christmas Carol and The Mackintosh Foundation are proud to be supporting St Martin-in-the-Fields' Christmas Appeal by donating 50 pence for each ticket purchased. The appeal raises money to assist homeless people with shelter, food, help and advice. Customers, as part of the purchasing process, will be asked if they would also like to donate 50 pence with each ticket purchased. Registered charity no 1156305/261359.
Jim Broadbent is an Academy Award, BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning theatre, film and television actor, best known for roles in Iris (for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes in 2001); Moulin Rouge (for which he was awarded the BAFTA for performance in a Supporting Role in 2001) and the international phenomenon the Harry Potter franchise. He was BAFTA nominated most recently for his role alongside Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady (d. Phyllida Lloyd, 2011). He has since continued to appear in an eclectic mix of projects, including John S. Baird's scurrilous Irvine Welsh adaptation Filth; Roger Michell's romantic comedy drama Le Weekend (for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award as Best Actor); and The Harry Hill Movie, in which he appeared in drag as a three-armed cleaning lady. More recently Jim has starred in Christopher Smith's Christmas comedy Get Santa; and Paul King's critically acclaimed Paddington, based on the beloved children's books by Michael Bond. Upcoming projects include John Crowley's romantic comedy drama Brooklyn, adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Toibin's novel and Jalmari Helander's action adventure Big Game, starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Since his film debut in 1978, Jim has appeared in countless successful and acclaimed films, establishing a long-running collaboration with Mike Leigh (Life is Sweet, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake and Another Year) and demonstrating his talents as a character actor in films as diverse as The Crying Game (d. Neil Jordan, 1992), Bullets Over Broadway (d. Woody Allen, 1994), Little Voice (d. Mark Herman, 1998); Bridget Jones' Diary (d. Sharon Maguire, 2001); Hot Fuzz (d. Edgar Wright, 2007); The Damned United (Tom Hooper, 2009) and Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, 2012).
Also honoured for his extensive work on television, Broadbent most recently received a Royal Television Award and BAFTA nomination for his leading performance in Any Human Heart (based on William Boyd's novel of the same name), and had previously been recognised for his performance in Tom Hooper's Longford, winning a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and for his performance in The Street for which he won an Emmy. His earlier role in The Gathering Storm (2002) had earned him Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Other selected credits include Birth of a Nation - Tales out of School (Mike Newell, 1983); Black Adder (John Lloyd, 1983); Only Fools and Horses; Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV; The Young Visiters (David Yates, 2003); Einstein & Eddington (Philip Martin, 2008); Exile (John Alexander, 2011); The Great Train Robbery (James Strong 2013). Jim is due to star alongside Ben Whishaw and Charlotte Rampling in London Spy, an original production by BBC America.
Having studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Broadbent has also appeared extensively on the stage, notably with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. His work on the stage has seen him appear in acclaimed productions ranging from Our Friends in the North (d. John Caird at the RSC Pit) and A Place with Pigs (d. Athol Fugard at The National), through to Habeas Corpus (d. Sam Mendes at The Donmar) and The Pillowman (d. John Crowley at the National).
Broadbent has previously collaborated with the creative team for A Christmas Carol, having performed for many years in Patrick Barlow's comedy troupe The National Theatre of Brent and in 2005, Theatre of Blood at The National, which was directed by Phelim McDermott.
Patrick's adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will have its West End debut this Christmas at The Noël Coward Theatre. Starring Jim Broadbent as Scrooge, directed by Phelim McDermott and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions. Concurrently his adaptation of General Lew Wallace's Ben Hur will receive its London premier at The Tricycle Theatre in November, presented by the team behind the Olivier and Tony Award-winning comedy The 39 Steps.
In 2006 Patrick adapted The 39 Steps which transferred from the Tricycle Theatre to the Criterion in the West End, winning him an Olivier Award and What's Onstage Award for Best New Comedy. In 2008 it transferred to the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway where it won the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Last year it won a Molière Award for Best Comedy in France, a Helpmann Award for Best Comedy in Australia and saw Patrick winning the accolade of being the most performed playwright in America. The 39 Steps is currently playing in over 26 countries.
Aside from The 39 Steps, Patrick Barlow is probably most renowned for the National Theatre of Brent which he created in 1980 and in which he plays Artistic Director and Chief Executive Desmond Olivier Dingle. The company's legendary two-man epics include, for the theatre: The Charge of the Light Brigade, Zulu!, The Black Hole of Calcutta, Wagner's Ring Cycle, The Messiah, The Complete Guide to Sex, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Love Upon the Throne - The Charles and Diana Story (nominated for an Olivier Award) and The Wonder of Sex at the Royal National Theatre.
Their TV work includes: The Messiah, Mighty Moments from World History (Channel 4); French Revolution!! (BBC 2) (Best Comedy Jerusalem Film Festival) and Massive Landmarks of the Twentieth Century (Channel 4).
Their radio work (BBC Radio 3 and 4) includes: All the World's a Globe, winning a Sony Gold for Best Adapted Comedy and Premier Ondas for Best European Comedy; The Complete and Utter History of the Mona Lisa (Sony Gold and New York Festival Award for Best Comedy); The Messiah; The Arts and How They Was Done; Iconic Icons and most recently their acclaimed series Giant Ladies Who Changed the World about the Suffragette Movement and the first time ever that this historic story has been performed entirely by two men. The third episode of Iconic Icons: "The Dalai Lama and How He became a Lama" has recently been nominated for a 2012 Sony Award.
Patrick's other film and television writing includes: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, The Ghost of Faffner Hall, Scarfe on Sex, The True Adventures of Christopher Columbus, Queen of the East, The Judgement of Paris (libretto) for the Covent Garden Venture with music by John Woolrich, How to Deal With Being Dumped (libretto) for the Gogmagog Theatre Company with music by Django Bates, Van Gogh (Prix Futura Berlin Film Festival) and the BAFTA-winning The Young Visiters, adapted from the novel by Daisy Ashford, starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie. His recent adaptation of Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans? for the Granada MARPLE series was transmitted in 2011.
Other radio writing includes: The Complete Life and Works of William Shakespeare, The Patrick and Maureen Maybe Music Experience with Imelda Staunton and Joan of Arc and How She Finally Became a Saint starring Dawn French.
His publications include: All the World's a Globe, Shakespeare: The Truth!, The Complete History of the World, Love Upon the Throne, The Messiah and The Wonder of Sex.
Phelim McDermott has been performing and directing since 1984. Phelim's company, Improbable (which he co-founded in 1996), has produced a number of shows including the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man, Theatre of Blood in collaboration with the National Theatre, Panic, and Beauty and the Beast, in co-production with ONEOFUS. Phelim also directed Philip Glass' Satyagraha and The Perfect American, and, for his latest project, Mozart's Così Fan Tutte in collaboration with the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.
Phelim co-founded dereck dereck productions with Julia Bardsley, directing a number of productions including Cupboard Man, Gaudete, The Vinegar Works, The Glass Hill and The Sweet Shop Owner. During his impressive career he has also directed Alex at The Arts Theatre, The Ghost Downstairs at Leicester Haymarket, Dr Faustus and Improbable Tales at Nottingham Playhouse and The Servant of Two Masters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Government Inspector at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Phelim's work also includes a musical version of The Addams Family, which he developed for Broadway with Julian Crouch and Elephant Eye Productions. His work with the Metropolitan Opera also saw him direct the company's 125th Anniversary Gala and the world premiere of The Enchanted Island.
In recognition of his outstanding work, Phelim received a TMA Award for Best Touring Production for A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed with the English Shakespeare Company. He was also awarded an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, a TMA Best Director Award and a Critics Circle Best Designer Award for his work directing Shockheaded Peter, a junk opera collaboration with The Tiger Lillies for Cultural Industry.
In 2003 he was awarded a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts fellowship to research new ways of rehearsing and creating theatre using improvisation and process-oriented conflict facilitation techniques. He was also made an Honorary Doctor of Middlesex University in 2007.