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Oscar and Tony award-winning actor Jeremy Irons will return to the London stage next year after an absence of 17 years. He will co-star in Embers, a new play being brought to the West End by a multi-award-winning team.
Based on the novel by Sandor Marai, Embers is written by Christopher Hampton and directed by Michael Blakemore.
Exploring themes of love, friendship and betrayal, Embers is set in war torn Europe in 1940, in a Hungarian castle, where a retired general Henrik (Irons) awaits the arrival of Konrad, a friend he has not seen for several decades.
Like Michael Frayn's COPENHAGEN, which Michael Blakemore directed to great acclaim in the West End and on Broadway (winning a Tony award for it as Best Director) this new play concerns a key event in the past that was pivotal in the lives of the protagonists.
In EMBERS, the fateful day was over 30 years before when Konrad had abruptly deserted a hunting party he was on with his lifelong friend Henrik. The following day Konrad mysteriously fled Vienna leaving behind his two inseparable friends - Henrik and his beautiful wife Kriztina. The passing of so many years has not dulled Henrik's memory of that day nor answered the questions that still haunt him.
Hampton adapted the play from the late Hungarian writer Sandor Marai's recently re-discovered novel which became an international best-seller on its publication in English and German in 2002. Michael Blakemore is one of the UK's leading directors. His productions include the premieres of plays by writers such as Peter Nichols, David Hare, Arthur Miller and eight by Michael Frayn. Christopher Hampton's plays, musicals and translations have garnered three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard awards and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award while prizes for his film and television work include an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, a Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia and a Special Jury Award at the Cannes film festival. Eric Abraham (Producer) - is a film, television and now theatre producer. He is best known for producing the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning film KOLYA (Best Foreign Language Film) in 1997.