Hitchcock Blonde

Previewed 27 March 2003, Opened 2 April 2003, Closed 24 May 2003 at the Royal Court Theatre
Previewed 16 June 2003, Opened 25 June 2003, Closed 20 September 2003 at the Lyric Theatre

Terry Johnson's new play Hitchcock Blonde in London starring Rosamund Pike and David Haig

Hitchcock Blonde is not a play about Alfred Hitchcock. But he may however make a cameo appearance. The Blonde will remain anonymous, which is a clue.

Following an extended sold-out run at the Royal Court Theatre, this acclaimed production transfers to London's West End.

The cast at London's Royal Court Theatre and West End's Lyric Theatre featured David Haig as 'Alex', Rosamund Pike as 'the Blonde', Alexander Delamere as 'Hitchcock', Fiona Glascott as 'Nicola', Owen McDonnell as 'Husband', Victoria Gay as 'the Blonde (1919)', and William Hootkins as 'Hitch'.

Directed by Terry Johnson, with designs and video by William Dudley, lighting by Simon Corder, and sound by Ian Dickinson.

Terry Johnson's London theatre credits include the plays Dead Funny (writer and director), and The Graduate (adapter and director). He has won two Olivier Awards for 'Best Comedy'.

"Hitchcock Blonde - a cracking three-hour play by the esteemed Terry Johnson - puts forward the highly credible proposition that the old master got his sexual kicks through the lens. For oddball Alfred, titillation was strictly a case of look, but never touch. College film lecturer Alex has got his hands on a few damaged old film reels of a work called Uninvited Guest from 1919. Alex is pushing 50, but he skilfully persuades his 20-year-old blonde student Nicola to accompany him to his Greek villa where they can unravel together the mystery of what seems to be formative footage from the early career of the one and only Mr Hitchcock... William Hootkins is superb as Hitchcock... the brilliant Hootkins not only sounds like his character but looks just like him too. Former Bond girl Rosamund Pike takes the title role as her misogynist director gets all voyeuristic. It's great stuff. As the middle-aged, film-obsessed seducer Alex, David Haig delivers some of the best lines while Fiona Glascott plays the self-mutilating Irish student Nicola." The Daily Mirror

"Hitchcock Blonde, as the title suggests, is all about film director Alfred Hitchcock, a monstrous old perv who had a thing about blonde actresses... It's set in 1959 with Hitch offering a wannabe starlet (gorgeous Rosamund Pike) the chance to be a body double in Psycho. The play then junps 40 years, to a Greek island, where a film lecturer (David Haig) is restoring some lost early Hitchcock footage with the help of a lithe film student half his age. What follows is a medley of voyeuristic Hitchcockian themes... Directed by Johnson, with blasts of the score from Vertigo and some cutting-edge visuals by designer William Dudley, the play is very clever and quite funny, but ultimately reaches a dead end after showing off all its homework." The Daily Express

"You spend much of the play wondering why it isn't more fascinating than it is. Part of the problem is Johnson's weakness for over-elaboration. There are too many obscure twists and intricate turns, too much speechifying, too many mechanical parallels... It is the performances that provide most of the compensation. William Hootkins is a splendid caricature-Hitchcock, with jutting lower lip, stiff arms, ponderous diction. David Haig's Alex is an admirable blend of earnestness and dodginess, and Rosamund Pike as the blonde brings out the voyeur in all of us. Fiona Glascott's Nicola, on the other hand, is rather irritating, but the fault probably lies in the writing, a male tribute to youthful female feistiness, rather than the acting." Sunday Telegraph

"The progress of Alex and Nico1a's sparky, spiky, over-written relationship contrasts with the monochrome, monosyllabic exchanges between Hitch and his blonde. William Hootkins is revoltingly, mountainously good as Hitch, who is usually eating or discussing exactly what he expects from his actor... While the play fails to solve the riddle of Hitchcock's obsession with blondes, it does raise interesting ideas about voyeurism. But the real thrill of this well-acted production is the look of it. It unravels in front of a huge reel of 35mm film, and is filled with moviemaking paraphernalia of the time and a fabulously evocative Hitchcockesque score. Nevertheless, it is too clever by half, too long and rather less than a sum of its complicated parts." The Mail on Sunday

Hitchcock Blonde in London at the Lyric Theatre previewed from 16 June 2003, opened on 25 June 2003, and closed on 20 September 2003.