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Spotlight On Cherry Jones, star of The Glass Menagerie in London's West End
It has been announced that Broadway icon Cherry Jones will reprise her role as former Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield in John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett's production of The Glass Menagerie which transfers to the West End's Duke of York Theatre following a successful run on Broadway and European première at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.
One of New York's most celebrated and respected actors, Cherry Jones is familiar with TV and film fans all over the world. From roles in shows such as 24 where she played President Allison Taylor to a recent appearance in Amazon Prime's original series Transparent, her career spans drama, comedy and non-fiction, but she is arguably most at home on the stage.
Jones was convinced by John Tiffany to take on the role of Amanda, having auditioned multiple times for the role of Laura in her youth. After she was forced to sit down and really look at the role of Amanda, she began to unearth the gifts that she presents to an actress.
Speaking to the Herald Scotland whilst re-rehearsing the production for the European Première at the The King's Theatre in Edinburgh, she spoke about the reinvention of the classic play. She stated that Tiffany and Hoggett, whose work can currently be seen in the West End sell-out hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, have brought “poetry onto the stage, visually and spiritually”, commenting that this production “take[s] things to a level that makes it magical to be part of.”
Five-time Tony Award nominee, Jones is known on Broadway for creating roles in iconic productions as well as bringing new life to classic texts. She won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the 1995 revival of The Heiress and her second in 2005 for the original production of Doubt. She was nominated for the role of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie during its 2013 Broadway run, where she also picked up the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Play.
The Guardian described Jones' performance in Tennessee Williams' breakout play as the “triumph” of the production, stating that she “offers us the Amanda of our dreams”. In the West End she will be joined by Michael Esper as Tom, Kate O’Flynn as Laura and Brian J. Smith as the Gentleman Caller, bringing this intense domestic drama to audiences in a completely fresh and original way.
We take a look at some of Cherry Jones' most memorable roles on stage and screen, to celebrate the news that she will bring this fantastic drama to London's West End:
The Heiress - Broadway
Jones won her first Tony Award for her role as Catherine Sloper in Ruth and Augustus Goetz 1944 play The Heiress, adapted from the 1880 Henry James novel 'Washington Square'. Directed by Gerald Gutierrez, the play won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, running for 340 performances and 33 previews at the Cort Theatre from 9 March 1995. Jones received glowing notices for the role, as noted in Variety that she "holds the play together and the audience entranced" making "the shifts seamless and is utterly convincing through every second."
The Night of the Iguana - Broadway
Tennessee Williams' early play based on his short story returned to Broadway in a production directed by Robert Falls, based on a 1994 production staged by the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. William Petersen starred as Rev. Shannon alongside Marsha Mason as Maxine and Cherry Jones as Hannah. Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company, it ran at the Criterion Center Stage Right Theatre for 69 performances.
A Moon for the Misbegotten - Broadway
Jones went on to star in the third Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's challenging 1957 play which is a sequel to his epic Long Day's Journey into Night. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the production opened on 19 March 2000 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, where it went on to run for 120 performances. Jones starred alongside Gabriel Byrne and Roy Dotrice, and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Doubt - Broadway
One of her most challenging and memorable stage roles came in the form of the 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley in which Jones played Sister Aloysius. Originally staged off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, it transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway in March 2005, running for 525 performances. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, with Jones winning her second Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The role was seen as a significant breakthrough for Jones, allowing her to pursue further TV and film work on a national scale, thanks to excellent reviews for her performance.
24 - TV
One of her most memorable screen roles came in the form of President Allison Taylor for Fox's drama '24', created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. Jones starred in 43 episodes opposite Kiefer Sutherland and went on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Awake - TV
Jones starred as Dr. Judith Evans in 'Awake', an American television police "procedural fantasy drama" that ran on NBC in 2012. Jason Isaacs led the cast as detective Michael Britten who works for the Los Angeles Police Department, with Jones as his therapist in one of two alternative realities.
Faith Healer - Broadway
Brian Friel's hit play about the life of the faith healer Francis Hardy returned to Broadway in a production that starred Jones alongside Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid running at the Booth Theatre in May 2006. Directed by Jonathan Kent the revival was met with strong reviews, receiving four Tony Award nominations and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play for Jones in the role of Grace.
Transparent - Amazon Prime TV
More recently Jones has been seen in the hit Amazon Prime original drama 'Transparent', playing the role of Literature teacher Leslie. The TV show has proved to be a hit around the world, winning acclaim for Jeffrey Tambor and the ensemble cast, and recently began its third season streaming online. For her role in the drama Jones was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Cherry Jones stars in The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York's Theatre from 26 January 2017.