Metro Weekly

Brokeback Mountain is Opening as a Play in the West End

Mike Faist and Lucas Hedges have been cast in the stage version of 'Brokeback Mountain,' opening in London this May.

Brokeback Mountain has existed in a number of forms over the years, and soon enough, it will appear in a new one — on stage as a play.

In just a few months, Annie Proulx’s short story will hit London’s West End. The show has been in process for some time, and now it has found its leading actors.

Mike Faist and Lucas Hedges will be the stars of the stage version of Brokeback Mountain when it arrives in London.

Faist will play the role of Jack Twist and Hedges will portray Ennis Del Mar, the two men who make up the love story told throughout the project. This play will mark the West End debut for both actors.

Faist is perhaps best known from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story adaptation. Hedges has been a darling of the indie film community for years, earning his first Academy Award nomination for his role in Manchester by the Sea.

Somewhere between a musical and a proper stage play, the new Brokeback Mountain is being billed as a “play with music.” A country and western band, including a pedal steel guitarist, will join singer-songwriter Eddi Reader on stage throughout the show.

The new play has been adapted by Ashley Robinson, while the songs are by Dan Gillespie Sells. The show will be directed by Jonathan Butterell. Butterell and Sells previously worked together on the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which also tackles issues that concern the LGBTQ community.

Brokeback Mountain is scheduled to run from May 10 through August 12 at a new West End venue called @sohoplace.

Of the show, Proulx, the story’s original author, said in a statement:

Brokeback Mountain has been recreated in several different forms, each with its own distinctive mood and impact. Ashley’s script is fresh and deeply moving, opening lines of sight not visible in the original or subsequent treatments.

Brokeback Mountain began its life as a short story that was originally published in the October 13, 1997 issue of The New Yorker.

It was immediately praised by critics and readers, and it went on to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In 2005, it was made into a western romantic drama movie, directed by Ang Lee.

The film stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the leads, as well as Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams in supporting roles. The film went on to get nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning three, including Best Director for Lee.

In 2014, composer Charles Wuorinen adapted the title into an opera. The opera was recorded in Madrid, where its world premiere was held, and released as a movie of sorts, as well.

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