If you happened to be on Broadway last Friday, you might have had the fortune of coming across Arthur Darvill beginning a run in the hit show Once!
Somehow defying the laws of Doctor Who fandom Darvill takes up the role of Guy in the production which was previously held by Steve Kazee – and is believed to be signed up until December, thanks to an exchange program between the US and UK Equity unions.
And this is why we love this fandom.
Arthur Darvill, the actor who plays companion Rory Pond in Doctor Who, will soon be appearing alongside Lewis’s Laurence Fox in the first ever West End production of Jonathan Lewis’s Our Boys.
The play, which is both a funny and honest account of the experiences of five young soldiers recuperating from injuries sustained in battle, will open at London’s Duchess Theatre on Wednesday 3 October.
Our Boys, which was named Best New Play at the 1993 Writers’ Guild Fringe Awards, sees the injured troops’ quiet life of TV and light-hearted banter shattered by the arrival of an unwanted authority figure in their midst: a young, hard-line officer straight from Sandhurst.
Rounding out the cast are actors Matthew Lewis, better known as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films; Cian Barry, who appeared in ITV’s Titanic mini-series; and stage talents Jolyon Coy and Lewis Reeves.
British comic star and TV personality James Corden (Gavin & Stacey, Doctor Who) has now made a return to Broadway in the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors — and U.S. critics are very impressed.
“Splendidly silly” are the words used by the New York Times in its assessment of the play. The Associated Press describes Corden flatteringly as “the king of fools on Broadway.” The New York Daily News asks: “Can we keep James Corden in New York for good?”
Although the play has been a big hit in London, there were some concerns that this British slapstick farce, inspired by an 18th Century Italian comedy called Servant of Two Masters, wouldn’t resonate with Americans
But judging by the laughter at a recent preview performance, Americans audiences are loving every minute of it.
Shortly after the curtain came down on opening night I asked Corden for his take on his Broadway debut — and what he made of all the talk of a possible Tony nomination.
Matt Smith, the current (and youngest) actor to star as the Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who, recently took to the stage in Los Angeles while dressed as Batman for a play called Gotham Autopsy, part of the 24 Hour Plays that were inspired by Scott McCloud’s 24 Hour Comics (!!!) and are performed but once and never more. The Telegraph described the scene, which sadly none of us shall ever see again:
At the start of his play – called Gotham Autopsy – Smith was covered in a sheet in a mortuary before he came to life as a confused Batman. Comedian and Don’t Mess With Zohan star Nick Swardson starred as Robin. Also in his play were Kick Ass star Lyndsy Fonseca and fellow Brit Saffron Burrows. Half-way through the 20 minute skit Smith dropped his fake American accent and became a cockney (Brit) to huge laughs from the audience.
The Shakespeare’s Globe have announced casting for their forthcoming play, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus; the titular role will be played by Paul Hilton (whose television credits include Silk), with the evil spirit Mephistopheles that ‘serves’ him in the story to be played by Arthur Darvill - the actor is, of course, currently starring in Doctor Who as TARDIS traveller Rory Williams.
The press release reports:
Arthur Darvill, who is best known for his role as the Doctor’s current companion Rory in BBC’s Doctor Who, will play Mephistopheles in Shakespeare’s Globe’s first production of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Paul Hilton, who was recently seen in the BBC drama Silk, will play the title role of the scholar who makes a pact with the devil in exchange for knowledge. The production will run from 18 June to 2 October and is directed by Matthew Dunster and designed by Paul Wills. They will both collaborate with Puppetry Director Steve Tiplady, former Artistic Director of Little Angel Theatre Company, to transform the Globe in to an arena of wild spectacle with larger than life puppets and illusion. Huge flying dragons and horned stilt walkers will help to bring this dark fantastical world to life.
Doctor Faustus is one of the greatest tragedies in English before Shakespeare, and is being staged for the first time at the current Globe. Restless for knowledge and power, Faustus forsakes scholarship and makes a pact with the Devil: In exchange for giving his soul to the Devil after death, the evil spirit Mephistopheles will serve him for 24 years, providing him with magic and knowledge beyond his wildest dreams.
Arthur Darvill’s television credits include Doctor Who, Little Dorrit for the BBC and He Kills Coppers on ITV. He was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards in 2007 for his role as Rex in Swimming with Sharks (Vaudeville), his other theatre credits include Tierre Haute (Trafalgar Studios) and Stacy (Arcola). Arthur is a musician and composer and has collaborated with playwright Ché Walker in writing songs for The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Been So Long (Young Vic/UK Tour).
Paul Hilton television credits include Silk for the BBC. He previously appeared in Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of As You Like It in 1998. Other theatre includes Rosmersholm (Almeida), In Celebration (Duke of York’s), The Wild Duck (Donmar), Morning Becomes Electra and Three Sisters (National Theatre).
Matthew Dunster’s previous work at Shakespeare’s Globe includes Troilus and Cressida in 2009 and Ché Walker’s The Frontline in 2008 and 2009. Other credits include Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith/UK Tour), The Maddening Rain (Old Red Lion), Love the Sinner (National Theatre) and You Can See The Hills (Royal Exchange and Young Vic).
As mentioned above, the play runs from 18th June through to 2nd October 2011. For more details on the production, see the Shakespeare’s Globe website.