The West End’s latest theatre, @sohoplace, the brainchild of the irrepressible Nica Burns, certainly proved its worth with its opening shows: Josie Rourke’s As You Like It and Dominic Cooke’s Medea with a blazing Sophie Okonedo. Now comes a change of style with the world premiere of a new play with country and western-influenced songs adapted from Annie Proulx’s original novel (not the movie) and written by Ashley Robinson and Dan Gillespie Sells. The latter, of course, was also responsible for the songs in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. This love story, spanning 20 years, is in a very different vein as it tells of Ennis and Jack, a shepherd and a rodeo cowboy who meet in conservative Wyoming in 1963.
Wyoming 1963: a wild landscape where people live in extreme rural poverty in tight, insular and conservative communities. When Ennis and Jack take jobs on the isolated Brokeback Mountain, all their certainties of life change forever as they flounder in unexpected emotional waters of increasing depth. Dan Gillespie Sells’ beautiful Country and Western songs weave heartbreakingly through this intense tale of an irresistible and hidden love spanning twenty years and its tragic consequences. This play is written by Ashley Robinson with original music by Dan Gillespie Sells, performed by the extraordinary singer, Eddi Reader, joined by her onstage Country and Western band: Sean Green (piano/MD), Meelie Traill (upright bass), Julian Jackson (chromatic harmonica), BJ Cole (pedal steel guitar). Directed by Jonathan Butterell, Brokeback Mountain sees him reunite with Gillespie Sells and producer Nica Burns, the team behind the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Brokeback Mountain stars Mike Faist (Tony award nominee, best known for his role in Dear Evan Hansen and West Side Story) as Jack and Lucas Hedges (best known for his Oscar-nominated performance in Manchester by the Sea) as Ennis, both making their West End stage debuts. Age Recommendation: 16+