“Mark Williams is lost. An astronomer at New York City’s Planetarium, he feels a closer connection to the infinite, starry sky than to his job or even to his wife, Anne. Mark doesn’t believe in fate or divine intervention, but the universe has other ideas.
After a chance meeting with Angela, a young single mother, the stars appear to have aligned. But when a catastrophic event rips through their lives, Mark is forced to re-evaluate his life, his faith and his place in the universe itself”.
Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) will make his West End debut in ‘The Starry Messenger’, a bittersweet comic-drama by Kenneth Lonergan, Academy Award-winning writer of ‘Manchester By The Sea‘, one of the most celebrated writers working today.
After a successful run Off-Broadway in 2009, Broderick reprises his role as astronomy teacher Mark Williams who, in the midst of a mid-life crisis – the planetarium he lectures at is about to close, his marriage is on the rocks and he’s mourning the recent loss of his father – shows a sudden desire to explore his infinite connection to the vastness of the universe, spying hope only in the form of trainee nurse Angela.
Broderick won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in 1983 for his performance in Neil Simon’s ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’, and won a Tony Award for Lead Actor in a Musical in 1995 for ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’, and was nominated for another Tony for his role in the Mel Brooks 2001 stage version of ‘The Producers‘. Broderick reprised the role in the 2005 film adaptation of the same name. Broderick was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2017. The actor appeared in Oscar-winning writer-director Lonergan’s films, ‘You Can Count on Me’, ‘Margaret’, and ‘Manchester by the Sea’.
Opposite Broderick will be Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern , who most recently starred in Yasmina Reza’s ‘God of Carnage’ at the Theatre Royal, Bath.
Taking inspiration from Galileo’s ‘Sidereus Nuncius’, ‘The Starry Messenger’ is directed by Sam Yates (Glengarry Glen Ross), and produced by Simon Friend, Act Productions, Gavin Kalin and Howard Panter.
Listed as as ‘unblinking exploration of love, hope and understanding in our place in the universe’, this “breathtaking” (Time Out) play, “moving and beautifully written” (New York Post), boasts “an intimacy that reverberates across the night sky” (Variety).
‘The Starry Messenger’ will run at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre from 16th May to 10th August 2019.
“In the vastness of the universe are we all just lonely souls under the same night sky?”