Linda Marlowe is to star in a rare production of one of Tennessee Williams’ most daring and extraordinary plays, In The Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, at Charing Cross Theatre this spring.
In only its second London production in the 33 years since his death, In The Bar of a Tokyo Hotel will be directed by Robert Chevara.
Mark is a world-famous artist. He, and his grasping wife Miriam, are caught in a fiercely symbiotic bond of need and hatred. Having played midwife to his incredible career, Mark has been both Miriam’s validation and despair. Now she wants to leave, afraid that Mark is in the grip of a breakdown and he can no longer create.
Mark, however, senses a breakthrough coming. He returns again and again to his canvases, which “demand what I can’t give them yet”. The scene is set both for a savage and witty dance of death, and an autobiographical meditation on creativity and envy of success.
Linda Marlowe said: “I have loved Tennessee Williams plays since I was a young girl and have had the good fortune to play some of his famous female roles.
“Ten years ago, while I was in New York performing a solo show of some of Williams’ lesser-known short stories adapted for the stage, I came across In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel in a bookshop and swore Miriam Conley was a role I would one day play.
“Her humour, her wit, her manipulative ways, her toughness, her vulnerability, her fear of dying without her control over how she dies, all make her one of Williams’ great heroines.”
Director Robert Chevara said: “This is one of Tennessee Williams’ most unique, audacious and exceptional plays. Comparable to Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, it is suffused throughout with Williams’ dazzling poetic vision and incomparable drama.
“Williams’ later plays have traditionally been considered more experimental than his earlier, more linear work. However, a critical re-evaluation of his later output is under way.
“In this play he creates a new theatrical language to mirror the language of visual art – a broken, fragmented, written form of Cubism, exploring how two people, together for a lifetime, can no longer communicate.
“Bold and brilliant, the play proves that Williams never stopped exploring form or expanding his own artistic horizons.
“In his Williams biography, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, John Lahr observes of the play that it has ‘intellectual sinew, moral complexity and psychological nuance’.
“This is a rare chance to experience an important, game-changing work from Tennessee Williams’ rich and rewarding late period, in only its second London production since Williams death in 1983.”
Linda Marlowe worked with Steven Berkoff over a 25-year span as his leading lady in most of his plays, touring internationally and in the West End. Her association with him gave rise to her first solo show, Berkoff’s Women.
In her many TV and film appearances she has worked with Richard Burton, Peter OToole, Albert Finney, Adrien Brody and Gillian Anderson.
In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel runs at Charing Cross Theatre from April 5-May 14.