Hollywood legend and Academy Award winner F MURRAY ABRAHAM takes to the Ustinov stage this week, in THE MENTOR, a new play by one of Europe’s most celebrated authors.
F. Murray Abraham plays Benjamin Rubin, a cantankerous old writer, whiskey aficionado and pedant, still basking in the reflected glory of long ago success. Martin Wegner is a rising young literary star, heralded as “the voice of his generation”. In a dilapidated art nouveau villa, somewhere in the German countryside, these two massive egos are set on a collision course, as Martin is given the opportunity to develop his new play under the mentorship of his idol. They are accompanied by Martin’s brilliant wife Gina, and hosted by Erwin, the administrator of the arts fund that has thrown them together, in this perceptive and compelling comedy about art and artists and the legacy of fame.
F. Murray Abraham won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Salieri in Milos Forman’s masterpiece Amadeus. His numerous other screen credit include Homeland, Mighty Aphrodite, Scarface, Finding Forrester, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Name of the Rose, The Good Wife, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Grand Budapest Hotel. For his stage work, he was awarded an Obie Award for Best Actor in Uncle Vanya in 1983 and for Sustained Excellence of Performance in 2011.
Playing Martin is Daniel Weyman, whose credits include Nicholas Nickleby, King Lear and Kafka’s Dick (in the Theatre Royal’s Summer Season 2014) on stage, and recently starred in BBC’s Silent Witness on television. Naomi Frederick plays Gina, having starred in Bath and the West End last year in Hobson’s Choice, opposite Martin Shaw. Jonathan Cullen returns to the Ustinov to play Erwin, having starred in last year’s highly acclaimed Trouble in Mind, amongst numerous other credits for the RSC, National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre.
Daniel Kehlmann is a literary superstar whose novel, Measuring The World, sold three million copies in Germany alone and has been translated into more than 40 languages. This will be the first time one of his plays has been performed outside Germany. The Mentor has been translated by Christopher Hampton, who also translated Florian Zeller’s The Father for the Ustinov Studio, launching its international success.
The Mentor is directed by Olivier Award-winner Laurence Boswell, the Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio, whose recent credits include Trouble in Mind, Intimate Apparel and last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which starred Phill Jupitus.
THE MENTOR is at the Ustinov Studio from Thursday 6th April – Saturday 6th May. Tickets are on sale now from the Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk/ustinov