Zachary Quinto and David Harewood to star in new West End production of ‘Best of Enemies’

The play will land in the West End after its initial run at the Young Vic. Written by James Graham and directed by Jeremy Herrin, this original new play deals with the fiery division in America following political convictions during the late 60s. Narrated through the characters of Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. during a tumoultous broadcast debate, the piece depicts what not only changed the face of American politics, but also television news.

We’re living through another “1968 moment” right now – that same spirit of protest, resistance, and a thirst for change… As the current political scene burns as a power keg about to burst, there’s another scene mirroring its situation through the critical eyes of history and storytelling. James Graham’s words are more than the opening quote of this entry, as they will also be the ones that, from mid-November and until next year, will be resonating on the stage and within the walls of West End’s Nöel Coward Theatre. Best of Enemies, Second Half Productions’ next venture, is coming to London this autumn. A fiery conflict between old and new values crashing in a quest for power, we now get to know the two men who are to lead this volatile war in just a couple of months.

Zachary Quinto (The Boys in the Band, American Horror Story, Star Trek) steps into the shoes of iconoclastic liberal Gore Vidal, whose convictions will be tried (and broadcast) in front of conservative William F. Buckley Jr, reprised by David Harewood (Homeland, Super Girl, Ten Percent). Both of them will engage in a tulmotous televised political discussion, which unbeknownst to them, will not only open up a new frontier in American politics but also transform television news forever… Completing the cast are Deborah Alli, Emilio Doorgasingh, Clare Foster, Tom Godwin, John Hodgkinson, Syrus Lowe, Kevin McMonagle and Sam Otto who will each perform multiple roles within the play including Andy Warhol, James Baldwin, Patricia Buckley, Howard Austen, Aretha Franklin and Martin Luther-King. The ensemble includes David Boyle, Lincoln Conway, Vivienne Ekwulugo, Jamie Hogarth and Saaj Raja.

“Living and working in London has long been an aspiration of mine. But to be making my West End debut in such a thrilling and relevant play – amongst such a distinguished creative team – and playing such a scorching and complex character as Gore Vidal – far exceeds my expectations of what living and working in London would look like…”, states Quinto. “I’m full of gratitude and excitement. Best of Enemies harkens back to a vital time – when genuine discourse was possible from even the most opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. My hope is that such discourse may be once again rekindled in response to the work itself.” 

“I consider Best of Enemies to be one of the most enjoyable and challenging experiences of my whole career and I cannot wait to once again get under the skin of this uniquely complex character”, adds Harewood. “Jeremy’s brilliant direction and James’s wonderful script combine to give both actor and audience a stimulating, thought-provoking and wildly entertaining evening out and I’m counting down the days to performing this show again in the West End.”

Directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places & Things, Wolf Hall Trilogy, This House), won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best New Theatre Production and the Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play, as well as being nominated for two Olivier Awards following its stay at the Young Vic. Also brought to the West End by Eleanor Lloyd Productions, Wessex Grove, the Young Vic Theatre and Headlong and Wagner Johnson Productions (the latter as Executive Producers), the creative team is formed by Bunny Christie (Sets), Jack Knowles (Lighting), Tom Gibbons (Sound Design), Max Spielbichler (Video Design) and Benjamin Kwasi Burrell (Composition), among others.

Best of Enemies will start previews on Monday 14 November (its opening night scheduled for the 28th same month) and will conclude its run on Saturday 18 February next year. Tickets are available on the following link.

By Guillermo Názara

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