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After selling out before opening, and receiving an oustanding critical reception at the Hampstead Theatre, Mike Leigh's new production of his 1979 play Ecstasy will transfer to The Duchess Theatre on April 12 for 50 performances only.

The show, which Leigh first made at the old Hampstead Theatre Club in 1979, has broken all box office records at Hampstead Theatre, with many people unable to purchase tickets.  In recognition of this, and in celebration of Hampstead's success, 100 tickets each night will be sold at Hampstead prices.

Mike Leigh said, "of my own plays, Ecstasy is my favourite.  For years I have wanted to share its passion, its comedy, its sadness and its songs with a new, wider audience, and now, with my wonderful young cast, I am delighted to have the opportunity to do so."

1979.  Old friends come togetherin a Kiburn bed-sit.  Loneliness togetherness, longing, warmth, love...Ecstasy is compassionate, thoughtful and extremely funny, and combines Leigh's mastery for observation with theatrical honesty.

Both the cast of Sian Brooke, Daniel Coonan, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Allen Leech, Sinead Matthews and Craig Parkinson, and the production itself have been highly praised.

"It is clear that Mike Leigh is a great artist" - Charles Spencer The Daily Telegraph
"Like Chekov in a bedsit...the comedy is wonderful.  See it" - Kate Bassett Independent on Sunday
"Compelling" - Jane Edwardes The Sunday Times
"Superb performances" - Henry Hitchings Evening Standard
"Ecstasy delivers on its name...heartbreak exists a hair's breadth away from hilarity" - Matt Wolf New York Times

This is Hampstead's first transfer since Edward Hall took over as Artistic Director in February 2010.

"I am so glad to be able to give Mike Leigh's work a wider platform to be seen on.  We have been unable to cope with demand for tickets at Hampstead so this transfer is doubly important both for the theatre and for the audience for Mike's work.  It is enormously exciting to see Hampstead back in the West End again in this new partnership with Nica Burns and Nimax Theatres".  Edward Hall.

This production is the first time Leigh has ever returned to one of his works, and marks the continuation of a relationship with Hampstead Theatre which started with his renowned Abigail's Party which premiered in 1977, followed by Ecstasy, Goose-Pimples and Smelling a Rat.

Book Ecstasy tickets online now

[posted by Honza, 06/04/2011]

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