EXCLUSIVE, updated with additional details: Paul Mescal’s Irish eyes smile and jig as well. Not only did he receive his first Oscar nomination on Tuesday for his starring role in After Sunbut Deadline can reveal that Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed production A tram called Désirin which Mescal delivers an electrifying Stanley Kowalski, will be transferred from a famous fringe North London theater to a West End stage.
Thanks in part for the move is due to Ridley Scott and Paramount agreeing to move the filmmaker’s film start date Gladiator 2, the sequel to the 2000 epic starring Russell Crowe, which will begin filming about two weeks later than originally planned. A studio source said no decision has been made yet.
Mescal, 26, signed to play in Gladiator 2 as Lucius Versus, son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucille and nephew of the very jealous Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator).
Mescal will now move into the Phoenix with Patsy Ferran, praised for her Blanche DuBois, starting March 20 for a strictly limited six-week run.
Seats for A tram called Désir at the 370-seat Almeida Theater in Islington, where it plays until February 4, are the most wanted in London. When news of Mescal’s appointment broke, Almeida’s box office manager reported a tsunami of calls and emails, such was the demand for tickets.
The Phoenix holds 1,012 seats. Even so, the series is expected to sell out within minutes of the box office opening for general sale on February 1.
Mescal has been on a roll since the TV drama normal people launched on the BBC almost three years ago. His rugged beauty wrapped in the physique of a rugby player is combined with a quicksilver ability to inhabit any type of room.
As much as he loves making independent films like God’s Creatures and The lost girlMescal wants to work in all areas.
“I don’t want to make beloved films After Sun for the rest of my life. I know this will be the base but I want to have my cake and eat it. I want to be able to do whatever I want to do, but so people know that movies like After Sun is what I want to see,” he told us recently.
“But I also know that there are just other things I want to do and try and taste,” he added.
The success of A tram called Désir is a creative triumph for Rebecca Frecknall, its director. She enjoyed similar plaudits for leading the revival of Cabaret who continues to play to sold-out houses after two years at the Kit-Kat Club in Charing Cross.
Additionally, Ferran, who often collaborates with Frecknall, seemingly effortlessly provides London with the best White seen on its stages in years.
Adam Speers, the head of productions at Ambassador Theater Group, the boutique transferring Williams’ play, told Deadline that the combination of Tennessee Williams, award winner Olivier Frecknall, Mescal, Ferran and costars Anjana Vasan and Dwane Walcott “is too good to miss.”
He noted that “at the first grand opening of 2023, audiences and critics alike have already been blown away – so it’s amazing to have managed to find a way to bring this incredible production to the West End even for a short period”.
He believes that during the six-week run in the West End, “the energy inside the Phoenix Theater will be as if the greatest rock band in the world has gathered for one last gig”.