'Performing Sunday in the Park with George with the brilliant Annaleigh Ashford was one of the greatest joys of my career,' Gyllenhaal enthused. 'I've also deeply missed the West End and so to be bringing Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical there is both humbling and thrilling.'
Along with actor sister Maggie, screenwriter turned film producer mother Naomi Foner and director father Stephen, Jake Gyllenhaal is part of a Hollywood clan. He occupies a distinguished corner of the mainstream, balancing blockbuster appeal with critical acclaim in films spanning indie favourite Donnie Darko to award-ceremony behemoths Brokeback Mountain, Nocturnal Animals and Nightcrawler.
Gyllenhaal has proven clout in the intimacy of the theatre, too. Back in 2002 he made his stage debut in London's Garrick Theatre, winning Outstanding Newcomer for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth. He later conquered Broadway with the nuanced new writing of British playwright Nick Payne in first If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (2012), then Constellations (2014).
Annaleigh Ashford and Jake Gyllenhaal in Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by Matthew Murphy
In 2016 Gyllenhaal turned his talents to a more surprising genre: musical theatre. After two sellout runs on Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George transfers to the Savoy Theatre.
Inspired by Georges Seurat's painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim wrote a musical about the French post-impressionist artist. It was a hit when it opened in 1984, going on to win a Pulitzer Prize, numerous Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier awards, and plenty of high-profile revivals.
Gyllenhaal plays the titular George, charting the months leading up to Seurat's most famous painting. In a spiral on creative intensity, he alienates art buyers, incenses his peers and neglects his lover Dot (Annaleigh Ashford).
With a strictly limited run and an A-lister in the lead role, Sunday in the Park with George will sell out long before opening night, so book promptly.
|What||Sunday in the Park with George, Savoy Theatre|
|Where||Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court , Strand, London, WC2R 0ET | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|