Withnail's stage debut

Classic comedy heads for the West End

Withnail & I is to be turned into a West End show – with Jude Law lined up as a possible star.

The Alfie star has been offered the part of the crazed out-of-work actor, originally played by Richard E. Grant in the classic 1987 film.

The stage version is expected to tour regional theatres next spring before transferring to the West End.

There is no hint yet who might take the role of the other wastrel thespian ‘I’, as played by Paul McGann, in the original, or of the predatory Uncle Monty, as played by Richard Griffiths.

It will be a co-production between HandMade Films, the company that made the original film

Patrick Meehan, chairman of HandMade, said: ‘We're just about to start on casting. We were looking at Richard E Grant to reprise Withnail but we think he's too old.

We have spoken with Jude Law's agent and we're waiting to hear. Paul McGann's past it for his role as well."

 Mr Meehan promised the play would stay true to the film script. ‘It is not going to be a musical. It will stick to the original,’ he said.


Published: 17 May 2006

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