Daniel Monks cast in a new production of ‘The Normal Heart’ in London

Perth raised actor Daniel Monks has been cast in a new production of The Normal Heart which will be staged in London in 2021.

It’ll be the first time Larry Krammer’s acclaimed play has been professionally performed in London since it’s debut in 1986. The play follows Ned Weeks, the founder of an AIDS advocacy group. The semi-autobiographical play is based on Krammer’s experiences with the Gay Men’s Health Coalition.

Joining Monks in the production will be Law and Order UK star Ben Daniels who will play the lead role, Danny Lee Wynter will portray Tommy Boatwright, while Stanley Townsend will be Ben Weeks. Monks will play the part of Mickey Marcus.

The show is set to be directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies) with design by Vicki Mortimer and lighting by Paule Constable. Speaking to What’s On Stage Cooke shared his excitement about the production which will open in February.

“As a student I was lucky enough to see the landmark Royal Court production of The Normal Heart starring Martin Sheen. It had a profound effect on me at the time and I’ve wanted to direct the play ever since. It is the rarest of things; a history play written by one of its key participants. It deals with the nature of political activism, the internal battle many LGBT people fight to feel worthy of love and, topically, the refusal of those in power to face the reality of an unfolding health crisis.

“Larry Kramer was a firebrand and The Normal Heart is written with all of his characteristic ferocity, political insight and wit. I’ve been talking with Ben Daniels for over five years about playing Ned Weeks. He is one of our greatest actors and I cannot wait to begin working with him, alongside the rest of the company and the brilliant team at the NT who Kate Horton and I, as Fictionhouse, will be co-producing with.” Cooke said.

The Normal Heart premiered Off-Broadway in 1985, the 1986 British production saw Martin Sheen pick up the Olivier Award for Best Actor. During the show’s London run John Shea and Tom Hulce both look over the main role.  The play was revived in Los Angeles, London and Off-Broadway in 2004. A Broadway production directed by Joel Grey opened in 2011. It was adapted into a TV movie by Ryan Murphy in 2014 with Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff and Julia Roberts.

OIP Staff

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