Following the stage successes of his co-star Daniel Radcliffe, currently wowing audiences in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Rupert Grint is set to play against type by making his stage debut in the upcoming revival of Mojo. Well known for his portrayal of Ron Weasley in all eight Harry Potter films, Grint will feature in Jez Butterworth's gritty play alongside the Bond series' new Q Ben Whishaw, Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle and Daniel Mays, who won plaudits for his turn as Ronnie Biggs in ITV drama Mrs Biggs.
Set in the seedy underworld of late 1950s Soho, Grint will play Sweets, a pill-popping small-time gangster, alongside the other more dangerous and volatile characters. The show was a sensation when it first opened in 1995 at the Royal Court and Ian Rickson who directed the original production, hand-picked Grint after being impressed with him in the Harry Potter film series.
Rickson told The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye: "I’d seen the Potter films with my daughter and always thought Rupert was truthful as Ron Weasley. There’s something ordinary and centred about him, and in this world of Mojo you want that grittiness." Knowing the fanbase that Grint has developed over the years, Rickson also acknowleges: "A whole lot of people who might not see Mojo will come and see it."
The dark comedy's unfolding story centres around the kidnapping of up-and-coming singing sensation Silver Johnny, and how unhinged, Kray-like gangster Baby (played by Ben Whishaw) enacts his revenge. The success of the stage version led to a 1997 film version, written and directed by Butterworth. Butterworth and Rickson have frequently collaborated, including on the recent sell-out 2009-2010 smash Jerusalem, starring Mark Rylance. With its pedigree and high profile cast, this autumn's revival of Mojo is set to be a must-see.
Producer Sonia Friedman has confirmed that Mojo will open at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 26 October. Further news about the upcoming production will be announced soon and tickets will go on sale in September.
Buy The Cripple of Inishmaan tickets at the Noel Coward Theatre starring Daniel Radcliffe now