Bell, Hook and Candle opens at the Greenwich Playhouse
PUBLISHED: 11:24 11 November 2011
© Robert Gooch
A romantic comedy set on Christmas Eve in 1950's Manhattan is getting its first revival in the UK for almost two decades.
Bell, Book and Candle written by British playwright John Van Druten in 1950, runs at the Greenwich Playhouse in Greenwich High Road until Sunday, December 4 after opening last night (10).
Young witch Gillian Holroyd’s mood is more restless than festive. She wants something different this season, perhaps in the form of her attractive new tenant Shepherd Henderson. Problem is, he’s engaged to Gillian’s former school rival, and Gillian suspects she hasn’t got time to win him over before his New Year’s Eve wedding announcement. Unless, of course, she exercises her extraordinary powers to bind him with a spell.
Director Mark Giesser said: “In our frantic modern world of souless soulmate searches and dot-com dating disasters, Van Druten’s enchanting tale reminds us that sometimes all it takes is a little magic to discover the transforming power of love.”
The hit Broadway show was turned into a film in 1958 directed by Richard Quine, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak in their second on-screen pairing that year after Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
In the Alces Productions play at Greenwich, the young witch is played by Zoe Teverson whose credits include this year’s production of Edward II at London’s Rose Theatre Bankside and Shepherd Henderson, will be played by Stephen Cavanagh, whose credits include numerous productions at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre Company.
Van Druten, who died in 1957, enjoyed years of West End acclaim, becoming one of the most successful playwrights of the 1930s, before moving to America and becoming a U.S. citizen in 1944.
The works of the prolific writer include Behold, We Live in 1932, The Distaff Side in 1933, Leave Her to Heaven in 1940, Old Acquaintance, again written in 1940, and The Voice of the Turtle in 1943, which became a film with Ronald Reagan.
His 1951 play I Am a Camera, together with Christopher Isherwood’s short stories, Goodbye to Berlin, written in 1939, formed the basis of Joe Masteroff’s book for the musical Cabaret in 1966.
Tickets are £13 and £10 for concessions. Contact the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0208) 858 9256.