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    First it was Keira, currently it's Kristin Scott Thomas, next up continuing the starry line up at the Comedy Theatre is film actress Thandie Newton making her West End Debut in the Ariel Dorfman thriller Death and the Maiden from 13th October to 21st January 2012, press night on 24th October.

    Dorfman's work often deals with the horrors of tyranny and, in later works, the trials of exile. Dorfman has said, "I'm constantly trying to figure out how you can be true to an experience which in fact very few people in the world would understand, such as having most of your friends disappear or be tortured, and at the same time finding a way of telling that story so other people in other places can read their own lives into that."

    His most famous play, Death and the Maiden describes the encounter of a former political prisoner who was tortured without ever seeing the face of her persecuter with the man she believed tortured her years later after a chance meeting with her husband.  The title is taken from Schubert's piece which is played during her torture.  Dorfman identified "the stark, painful Chilean transition to democracy" as Death and the Maiden's central theme. 

    The stage premiere took place in 1991 starring Juliet Stevenson at the Royal Court winning an Olivier award for best new play before transferring to the West End for a year long run and has also been seen on Broadway starring Glen Close.  It was made into a film in 1994 by Roman Polanski starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.

    Thandie Newton takes on the role of Paulina Salinas with the roles of her husband and the doctor she thinks was her torturer yet to be announced.  The play will be directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin.

    Newton's numerous screen roles include the multi award winning film Crash for which she won a BAFTA award.  Her next film is Good Deeds.

    Book Death and the Maiden tickets online now.

    [posted by Louise, 01/08/2011]

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