June 5, 2023

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‘Brokeback Mountain’ Sets West End Adaptation – Variety

Annie Proulx’s short story “Brokeback Mountain” is being adapted for the stage in London’s West End.

The story was previously adapted as a 2005 film by Ang Lee, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, playing Jack and Ennis respectively, who take jobs on remote Brokeback Mountain and develop a relationship. He won three Academy Awards – for directing, adapted screenplay and score.

The West End film will star Mike Feist (BAFTA nominee for West Side Story) and Lucas Hedges (Oscar nominee for Manchester by the Sea) as Jack and Ennis. Both actors will make their West End debuts.

The play is written by Ashley Robinson, with songs by Dan Gillespie Sales. Jonathan Patrell will direct. Produced by Nika Burns with Adam Blanchay Productions, Lambert Jackson Productions and Katie Lipson for Aria Entertainment. Burns, Patrell and Seals previously collaborated on the popular musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ will be played at the new West End sohoplace from May 10th until August 12th.

Proulx said, “‘Brokeback Mountain’ has been recreated in several different forms, each with its own distinct mood and influence. Ashley’s script is modern and deeply moving, opening up visual lines unseen in the original nor sequential treatments.”

Robinson added: “I am honored to be entrusted by Annie Proulx to bring new life in a fresh form to her timeless and universal story. A story that means so much to so many, and will certainly mean so much to a whole new generation.”

“When Ashley approached us about collaborating on ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ we were immediately struck by his deep connection to the world and community that Annie has written so masterfully over the years,” Patrell said. “He brought to the adaptation an authenticity and understanding of these working-class men, their struggles to survive the harsh brutality of their environment and the aloofness of thought.” surrounding them, which ultimately leads to their tragedy.

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Seals said, “The material and this complex story is inspiring to compose. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with the genre of music I grew up with and using it to serve the drama of every moment. Plus I get to work with some legendary artists and it’s such an honor and joy.”

Burns added, “In the intimate and intense ballroom that is sohoplace, our production centers on the relationship between two main characters with Eddie Reader’s unforgettable voice adding to the heartbreak as the soundtrack to their lives. Getting Mike Feist and Lucas Hedges, two outstanding young American actors to play Jack and Ennis is a real coup.”