The Oscar-winning author of West Finish play The Philanthropist contemplated rewriting his 1970 comedy within the wake of final month’s Westminster assault.
Christopher Hampton was involved the play’s references to a fictional assault on Parliament could be in poor style.
He mentioned: “I mentioned to Simon Callow, fairly significantly, possibly we must always change it.”
But Callow, who directed the revival at London’s Trafalgar Studios, mentioned it was “essential” the play be staged as initially seen.
“Christopher was completely prepared to tone it down,” mentioned the actor and director after the play’s opening evening on Thursday.
“However I feel it is crucial there’s this large shock within the play, that the characters then fully dismiss.”
Set in Oxford within the early 1970s, The Philanthropist depicts a bunch of self-absorbed teachers who’ve little curiosity within the wider world.
The play begins with information man armed with a machine-gun has killed the prime minister contained in the Home of Commons, together with numerous his entrance bench colleagues.
“The play is about how insulated and cocooned you might be in sure components of life,” mentioned Hampton, who gained an Academy Award for writing 1988 movie Harmful Liaisons.
“Due to this fact, I wished to have weird issues occurring within the outdoors world.”
Simon Chook, who performs lead character Philip, mentioned it had been “stunning and jarring” for a real-life assault to happen “simply down the highway” from the play’s West Finish dwelling.
“The content material of the play is bizarrely topical,” mentioned the star of Channel four sitcoms The Inbetweeners and Friday Night time Dinner.
“It takes place within the backdrop of terrorist assaults and political turmoil, which makes it really feel prefer it was written yesterday.”
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The Trafalgar Studios, previously often called the Whitehall Theatre, are positioned a brief distance away from the place the occasions of 22 March befell.
Final seen in London in 2005, The Philanthropist has historically been staged with actors significantly older than the characters they’re enjoying.
The late Alec McCowen performed Philip within the authentic Royal Courtroom manufacturing, whereas Matthew Broderick took the function when it was revived on Broadway in 2009.
“The characters are between 25 and 33, but prior to now they’ve at all times forged very expert actors of their 40s,” mentioned Hampton.
“This manufacturing is completely different as a result of the forged are the proper age. In a curious method, it feels rather more just like the play I wrote.”
Chook’s co-stars embrace Matt Berry from Channel four’s Toast of London, mannequin turned actress Lily Cole and Name the Midwife forged member Charlotte Ritchie.
It was just lately revealed that Call the Midwife is to have its first regular black character – a West Indian nurse whom Ritchie predicted could be “an excellent addition to the forged.”
The Philanthropist runs on the Trafalgar Studios till 22 July.