Ralph Fiennes to star in new coronavirus play in London
English actor Ralph Fiennes will perform David Hare’s new monologue, “Beat the Devil,” which will be staged at London’s Bridge Theatre.
“Beat the Devil”m staged by the theater’s co-founder Nicholas Hytner, deals with English playwright David Hare’s experience of contracting coronavirus, and the politics of the pandemic.
“Suffering a pageant of apparently random symptoms, Hare recalls the delirium of his illness, which mix with fear, dream, honest medicine and dishonest politics to create a monologue of furious urgency and power,” the Bridge Theatre said of the play in a statement.
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#BeatTheDevil, a world premiere by David Hare, performed by Ralph Fiennes, directed by Nicholas Hytner. . Suffering a pageant of apparently random symptoms, Hare recalls the delirium of his experience with COVID-19, which mixed with fear, dream, honest medicine and dishonest politics to create a monologue of furious urgency and power. . . . . . #DavidHare #NicholasHytner #RalphFiennes #Theatre #BridgeTheatre #TheBridgeTheatre #LondonTheatreCompany #WhatsOnLondon
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program in April, Hare recalled that the virus evolved rapidly and unpredictably.
“One day it would be fever, next day it would be arctic cold, then it would be vomiting, then coughing, then conjunctivitis, then breathing problems,” he said, adding that “day 10 was five times worse than day five.”
The Oscar-nominated screenwriter criticized the U.K. government’s handling of the health crisis, calling it worse than the Suez crisis or the Iraq war.
“To watch a weasel-worded parade of ministers shirking responsibility for their failures and confecting non-apologies to the dead and dying has seen British public life sink as low as I can remember in my entire lifetime,” he said.
While the Bridge Theatre is planning to reopen in September, performances of “Beat the Devil” are listed on the theater’s website as starting in late August. The timeline is dependent on the U.K. government allowing indoor performances with socially distanced audiences.
“We are hoping that we will get the green light to open with a reduced capacity of 250 seats and stringent safety measures, and we are inviting audiences from today to book seats with the assurance that, of course, if the season is delayed there will be automatic refunds for any performances that can’t go ahead,” the theater’s management said in a statement. NVG
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