All About Eveis set to make its West End premiere next February, starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James. The 1950 hit film has been adapted for the stage by Ivo van Hove, who will also direct the production with music provided by two-time Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey. Here’s everything you need to know about the play before buying tickets for the West End premiere at the Noel Coward Theatre.
All About Eve is the stage production of the 1950 film of the same name, starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter. The film was originally based on “The Wisdom of Eve”, a short story published in Cosmopolitan that told of Elisabeth Bergner hiring an assistant who then tried to steal her career.
The film’s success is down to exploring the relationship between showbusiness, ambition and jealousy. All About Eve is a story that continues to ask audiences why fame and fortune is so important in society.
Margo Channing is worried that turning 40 will end her career as a Broadway star. After a performance, she meets Eve Harington, an obsessed fan, at her dressing room door. Eve is then hired as Margo’s assistant, but the adoration is a façade for a cunning plan to rise to the top. When Eve is cast as Margo’s understudy, she then invites theatre critics to watch her performance behind Margo’s back, jumpstarting her acting journey to Hollywood.
Who’s in it?
Gillian Anderson will play Margo Channing. She made her stage debut on Broadway in 1991 as Evelyn in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends. Her first West End appearance was in What The Night is For at the Comedy Theatre. She received an Olivier nomination for her performance as Nora in A Doll’s House at the Donmar Warehouse. More recently, Anderson played Blanche DuBois in the 2014 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic,receiving another Olivier nomination. When the production transferred to Broadway, she reprised the role at St Ann’s Warehouse.
Lily Jameswill play Eve Harington. Making her stage debut in 2011 as Taylor in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic, James has enjoyed a glittering career across the stage and screen, recently playing the title role in Cinderella and young Donna in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Early stage credits include Othello at the Crucible Theatre and The Seagull at Southwark Playhouse. In 2016, James played Juliet alongside Richard Madden in Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre, as part of Kenneth Branagh's season at the theatre.
Monica Dolan, widely recognised for playing snide BBC exec Tracey Pritchard in W1A, will play Karen, Margo’s close friend. Dolan also recently had her play The B*easts runat the Bush Theatre.
Sheila Reid will play Birdie, Margo’s maid. Reid received an Olivier Award nomination or her role in When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream And Shout, and can be seen in ITV's comedy series Benidorm. Most recently, she played Gloria in Sandi Toksvig’s sitcom Silver Lining at the Rose Theatre.
Rhashan Stone will play Lloyd. Currently starring in BBC Three series Killing Eve, Stone has appeared in many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has also appeared in Southwark Fair and Sweeney Todd at the National Theatre.
Further casting is set to be announced.
Who is Ivo van Hove?
Visionary director Ivo van Hove is renowned for his modern productions across Europe. He has had recent success in London with Lee Hall's adaptation of the film Networkwhich starred Bryan Cranston at the National Theatre, Obsessionstarring Jude Law at the Barbican, and Lazarus, the David Bowie musical. The Belgian director is renowned for his radically modern approach to theatre, which his productions often very experimental. He was once labelled by Ben Brantley, New York Times critic, as a "maximalist minimalist", which van Hove has agreed with, although we're not quite sure exactly what that means...
Who is PJ Harvey?
PJ Harvey is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter with a prolific music career spanning over 30 years. She's won an Ivor Novello Award, two Mercury Prizes, and has been nominated for 8 BRIT Awards and seven Grammys for her work, and was awarded an MBE for services to music in 2013. She will produce music for this production of All About Eve after she provided songs for The Nest at the Young Vic in 2016.