Film star Woody Harrelson returns to London stage for first time in two decades

Woody Harrelson to star in Ulster American on London stage (Matt Crossick/PA)
Woody Harrelson to star in Ulster American on London stage (Matt Crossick/PA)

Woody Harrelson is set to return to the London stage starring in a satirical dark comedy alongside Andy Serkis and Louisa Harland.

The three-time Academy Award nominee, 62, returned to the West End almost two decades ago starring in Tennessee Williams’ The Night Of The Iguana at the Lyric Theatre in 2005.

Ulster American will see Harrelson play Oscar-winning actor Jay Conway at London’s Riverside Studios with a preview set for December 4 and opening night on December 13, with the play running until January 28.

Harrelson will star alongside The Lord Of The Rings and The Batman actor Serkis, who will play English director Leigh Carver, and Derry Girls star Harland as Northern Irish playwright Ruth Davenport, in the play written by David Ireland.

The Graham Norton Show
Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis (Ian West/PA)

The play is billed as a “pitch-black comedy” that will see the three characters begin rehearsals for a new play that could transform their careers, but when it transpires they are not on the same page, “the night threatens to spiral out of control”.

It first premiered in 2018 at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and later received the annual Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award and the Scotsman Fringe First Award.

Director Jeremy Herrin said: “I’m delighted that this rollercoaster of a play has summoned such a stellar roster of talent to join us for this pitch-black comedy at the beautifully refurbished Riverside Studios.

“I’ve always admired David Ireland’s fearlessness and the way he manages to skewer pretension in its many guises.

“It’s an honour to bring the legend that is Woody Harrelson to London; to welcome Andy Serkis back to the stage after so much success in the movies; and to enjoy the brilliant Louisa Harland going toe-to-toe with them both.

“It’ll be a thrilling evening and I can’t wait to see our audience’s reaction to this explosive show.”

Louisa Harland
Derry Girls star Louisa Harland (Matt Crossick/PA)

Hollywood star Harrelson most recently earned an Oscar nomination in 2018 for his supporting role in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, following his supporting actor nomination in 2010 for his role as Captain Tony Stone in The Messenger, as well as his first nod for best actor playing Larry Flynt in 1996 drama The People Vs Larry Flynt.

He will next star alongside Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in the Greg Berlanti-directed film Project Artemis, which is set around the 1960s space race.

Harrelson and Serkis both starred in Planet Of The Apes, while Harland starred in Harrelson’s feature film Lost In London in 2017.

Second Half Productions has announced it will offer 200 free tickets of the upcoming play to West London NHS staff through their partnership with Tickets For Good.

Tickets will go on general sale at 10am on October 12 with priority booking open from 10 October.