Rehearsal images have been released for The Trial of Jane Fonda, ahead of Opening Night.
1972. North Vietnam: Driven to halt the slaughter of young lives, iconic movie star Jane Fonda travels to Vietnam where she is photographed laughing and clapping, astride an anti-aircraft gun, designed to shoot down American planes. Overnight the soldiers’ sexy pin-up becomes ‘Hanoi Jane’; traitor to her country and betrayer of those very young men.
1988. Waterbury, Connecticut: Bitter demonstrations by veterans halt filming on a movie co-starring Fonda and Robert De Niro. Determined to stop her past dictating her future, Jane requests a meeting and enters a room full of angry men for whom the war still rages. The content of the meeting is never divulged.
Having retraced Fonda’s steps, interviewed her guides, dozens of veterans and Fonda herself, Terry Jastrow’s powerful drama conjectures the battles which were fought in that encounter; battles which are as much to do with the ability of recorded images to dictate our memories as they are to do with truth.
The most famous actress of her time, Jane Fonda was vocal in her opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1972 she went to the capital city of North Vietnam, Hanoi, to call worldwide public attention to the Nixon administration’s cover-up of US policy of deliberately bombing the country’s vital system of irrigation dikes. During that trip she made radio broadcasts denouncing as a war crime the US use of antipersonnel bombs banned by the Hague Convention, and visited US POWs. On the final day of her trip, she was photographed laughing and clapping astride a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. This activity by Fonda caused enormous controversy and galvanized a huge hate campaign amongst the US military and supporters.
Anne Archer (Fatal Attraction; Patriot Games; Clear and Present Danger) will return to the UK to star as ‘JaneFonda’, having first developed the role at the Edinburgh Festival in 2014. Archer was last seen on the London stage making her West End debut as ‘Mrs Robinson‘ in The Graduate at the Gielgud Theatre in 2001, to critical acclaim.
Anne Archer said, “I am utterly thrilled to be working with such a dynamic and talented cast, and look forward to our creative journey together.”
Musical theatre star Alex Gaumond joins the company as ‘Larry Bonk’. Alex’s extensive West End credits include Matilda, We Will Rock You, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Top Hat and Legally Blonde, for which he was nominated for the Olivier for Best Actor in a Musical. The Trial of Jane Fonda will mark not only his Park Theatre debut, but also his first major non-musical role in a play.
Alex Gaumond said, “I am very excited to take on the role of Larry in this fascinating play and to work with such a brilliant cast. If the auditions are anything to go by, the group dynamic on stage will be electric. In the few years since its opening, Park Theatre has quickly established a fantastic reputation for great work, so I am delighted to be performing there this summer.”
They are joined on stage by Christien Anholt playing ‘Buzzy Banks’, Martin Fisher as ‘Reverend John Clarke’, Paul Herzberg – returning to Park Theatre after starring in The Dead Wait in 2013, directed by Joe Harmston – as ‘Joe Celano’,Ako Mitchell – returning to Park Theatre after starring in Klook’s Last Stand in 2014, with an Offies Nomination for Best Actor – as ‘Reggie Wells’, and Mark Rose – also returning to Park Theatre after starring in Frozen in 2015 – as ‘Tommy Lee Cook’.
13 July – 20 August 2016
Performances Tuesday – Saturday @ 19.30, Thursday; Saturday @ 15.00
Press night: Thursday 14 July @ 7pm
Running Time: 95 mins approx
Booking: www.parktheatre.co.uk 020 7870 6876