Christmas is without a question one of the highlights of the year, but that doesn’t mean that the run up to the big day can’t get a little overwhelming sometimes. So every so often it’s nice to forget about the festivities for a while and treat yourself to an entirely non-festive theatre break – especially when there’s the chance of seeing a famous actress fluff her lines!
But that would be doing a disservice to the talents of Keira Knightley, who’s getting rave reviews for her starring role in a new performance of The Misanthrope that’s just opened in London. The play is a revival of Martin Crimp’s 1996 update of Molière’s classic satire, and is drawing crowds to the Comedy Theatre in Piccadilly who are eager to see the all-star performance headed by Ms Knightley herself.
Much to the annoyance of theatre critics, the famous film star is apparently really rather good in the role of Jennifer, a bitchy Hollywood starlet who naturally becomes the object of desire for a grumpy playwright, played by Damian Lewis. Some key scenes that test Keira’s mettle see her getting her own back on a parasitic acting guru played by Tara Fitzgerald, while a period costume orgy at the finale promises to show off Keira’s sultry side. I’m sure plenty of people will happily hand over the ticket price to enjoy that alone!
Keira Knightley made her name as a major Hollywood actress in films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Pride & Prejudice (take your pick), but she’s stirred debate with her West End debut by agreeing to accept a basic rate for her performance – a modest £750 per week, which is a world away from what she’d take home in Hollywood.
Keira told the Daily Mail that is because she’s keen to get some experience in the world of theatre. If this breakthrough performance is anything to go by, you can be sure Keira Knightley will be treading the boards with the best of them for many years to come.