Anna Friel as Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's

Posted on 15 May 2009

with Joseph Cross as William "Fred" Parsons in a new stage adaption, directed by Sean Mathias

Sean Mathias is to direct Anna Friel as Holly Golightly and Joseph Cross as William ‘Fred’ Parsons in Samuel Adamson’s new stage adaptation of Truman Capote’s classic novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s, currently in its 50th anniversary year.   Breakfast at Tiffany’s - the second production in Mathias’ Theatre Royal Haymarket Season, will preview from 9 September and is currently booking until 9 January 2010.  Press night will be 29 September 2009.  Set and costume designs are by Anthony Ward.  Featuring Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s Oscar-winning song Moon River, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is presented by Chambord, and is produced by Colin Ingram by arrangement with The Theatre Royal Haymarket Company. 

New York City, 1943. William ‘Fred’ Parsons, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Miss Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl. Everyone falls in love with Holly, including William - but he is poor, and Holly needs rich.  Will she marry Rusty, playboy millionaire?  Or José, the future president of Brazil?  As war rages in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with William - and then her past catches up with her…..
Truman Capote’s 1958 novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released as a film in 1961.  Directed by Blake Edwards, the double Oscar winning film starred Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal and Mickey Rooney.  
Anna Friel said:  “Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's has always been one of my favourite novels and I am delighted to have been given both the opportunity to play one of my all time favourite heroines, Holly Golightly, and to be returning home to the London stage.”
Sean Mathias, Director, said: “I am delighted to be helming the Haymarket’s Second Season of plays at the Theatre Royal.  After an exhilarating tour of Waiting for Godot, it was a joy to bring the play home to the Haymarket as the opening production in the season.  My second production, a brand new stage adaptation of Truman Capote’s most popular work Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is the glorious story of the unique Holly Golightly leading her fantastical existence in New York City during the second World War.  I have long been an avid fan of Capote and I hope that my production of his dazzling novella Breakfast at Tiffany's will be an unashamedly glamorous evening of wit, style, tenderness and music, with the dynamic 1940’s New York as a backdrop.  I am thrilled to be working with the beautiful and talented Anna Friel in her return to the London stage and one of America’s most sought after young actors Joseph Cross in his London debut.”
Alan U. Schwartz of The Truman Capote Literary Trust said:  “I am delighted the workshop production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s that we attended last year has now been realised as full production which will receive its world premiere in London in September.   Samuel Adamson’s play has caught the essence of Capote’s famous novella and we at the Trust are very pleased to be associated with it.  We are especially delighted to announce that the proceeds due to The Truman Capote Literary Trust from the production will be used to fund university scholarships in creative writing.”
Colin Ingram, Producer, said:  "Through a great partnership of ideas over the past two years, The Truman Capote Literary Trust has agreed, for the very first time, that a dramatic adaptation of Capote’s sparkling novella can be produced for the stage and I am delighted to be working with the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company and Chambord to premiere Breakfast at Tiffany's in one of London's most beautiful theatres, in its 50th Anniversary year ".
Award-winning Anna Friel’s theatre work includes Lulu for the Almeida Theatre Company both in London and New York and Patrick Marber’s Closer on Broadway.  She has recently been seen on ITV1 starring as Charlotte Charles in Pushing Daises for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series.  This summer, she will star opposite Will Ferrell in the film Land of the Lost.  Friel will soon begin filming London Boulevard with Keira Knightly and Colin Farrell as well as Jacob Estes’ black comedy The Details, with James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney.  On television, she will next be seen in Jimmy McGovern’s award-winning The Street.
American actor Joseph Cross is best known for his roles as Augusten Burroughs in Running with Scissors, as Franklin Sousley in the Clint Eastwood war drama Flags of our Fathers, and most recently, as Dick Pabich in the Gus Van Sant feature film Milk, starring opposite Sean Penn.  In 2003 Cross made his stage debut at the Williamstown Playhouse in John Guare’s Landscape of the Body and most recently played Orin Mannon in The New Group’s off-Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra.
One of America’s most famous authors, Truman Capote (1924-1984) wrote short stories, novels plays and essays, as well as working for the New Yorker, which provided him with his first and last regular job.  In 1948 his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published to international critical acclaim.  His other iconic works include In Cold Blood and Music for Chameleons and Answered Prayers
Samuel Adamson’s plays include Some Kind of Bliss at the Trafalgar Studios, All About My Mother, from Almodóvar for the Old Vic, Southwark Fair and Mrs Affleck from Ibsen for the National Theatre, Grace Note at the Old Vic and Clocks and Whistles for the Bush Theatre Company.  In 2005 he contributed to the 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic and in 2007 to A Chain Play at the Almeida Theatre.  He has written versions of Ibsen's Pillars of the Community for the National Theatre and A Doll’s House for Southwark Playhouse, Chekhov’s Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard for Oxford Stage Company and Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi for Dumbfounded Theatre. 
Director and writer Sean Mathias previously directed Triptych for the Market Theatre, Johannesburg and Southwark Playhouse, Ring Round the Moon for the Playhouse Theatre,  Uncle Vanya, A Little Night Music, Antony and Cleopatra and Les Parents Terribles all for the National Theatre, Dance of Death in London, on Broadway and in Australia, Aladdin for the Old Vic, as well as Talking Heads forthe Theatre Royal Haymarket, Suddenly Last Summer at the Comedy Theatre, Shoreditch Madonna for Soho Theatre and Design For Living at the Donmar, for both of which he was awarded the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Best Director Award.  Mathias also directed Bent at the Adelphi, National and Garrick Theatres and later directed a film version, winning the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997.  His other Broadway credits include The Elephant Man, Marlene and Indiscretions for which he was
nominated Best Director at the Tony Awards.  Also in the US his productions include Company as part of the Kennedy Centre Sondheim Celebration and a production of The Cherry Orchard at the Mark Taper Forum starring Annette Bening.  
The opening production in Sean Mathias’ season as Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company is Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.  The production, starringIan McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup, began previews on 30 April following a sell-out national tour and is now booking until 26 July 2009. 
Chambord is inspired by a unique black raspberry liqueur produced in France’s Loire Valley during the late 17th century.  Owned by Brown-Forman, Chambord is the presenting sponsor of Breakfast at Tiffany's marking the first ever for a commercial West End play.