The Bush Theatre
25 April – 2 June
John Simm is to star in a new stage adaptation of cult Norwegian film Elling, set to run at London’s Bush Theatre from 25 April prior to an official opening on 27 April.
Both Miller and Bent are on hand again for this English adaptation of Elling, as director and author respectively. Ingvar Ambjørnsen’s novel has been adapted for the stage by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Petter Næss.
In this quirky tale of two modern misfits, Simm plays the title role of Elling, a mummy’s boy, with Adrian Bower as his roommate Kjell Bjarne, an uncouth, reluctant virgin. They are the Odd Couple of Oslo: a pair of confused souls taking their first steps in the outside world after a lifetime of isolated and institutional life. Given a flat in the city by social services, their mission is to re-assimilate themselves into society–either that or return to the asylum. All they have to do is convince their social worker that they really are ‘normal’, even if it does feel safer sleeping in a wardrobe.
Bent’s adaptation of Elling marks the fourth writer-director collaboration at the Bush between Bent and Miller, following Bad Company, Goldhawk Road and Sugar Sugar. Together, they also collaborated onThe Associate at the National Theatre in 2002, and Bent’s most recent play was Under the Black Flag at Shakespeare’s Globe. Miller is also known for directing Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads at the National, and is currently represented in London by his revival of Christopher Hampton’s Total Eclipse at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He is also due to direct The Enchantment, a play by 19th century Swedish writer and Strindberg contemporary Victoria Benedictsson, in its English premiere at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre this summer.
Due to popular demand, there will be an extension week for Elling from 28 May – 2 June. Tickets go on sale from Tuesday 1 May. All prior performances have now sold out.