We’ve not seen a whole lot of Brian Cox on stage since the veteran actor’s career was given a late turbo-boost after he took on the immortal role of the appalling Logan Roy in Netflix’s wildly acclaimed ‘Succession’.
But clearly he’s still got something to prove as a stage actor: next year he’ll take on arguably the greatest stage role in the American canon as another, very different, monstrous father in Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’. Cox plays James Tyrone, a successful but embittered stage actor who has given his entire career over to a single part, and now feels he never got his due.
O’Neill’s epic semi-autobiographical play was only published posthumously, when it netted him the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for drama, and it has rarely been far from our stages since, with recent London productions providing a platform for David Suchet and Jeremy Irons.
It might well be the last major stage role the 77-year-old Cox takes on – it’s the sort of monolithic part that great actors bow out with, content they’ve proved that they still have ‘it’.
At present we don’t actually know that much about Jeremy Herrin’s production, just that it’s happening and will star Cox. The rest of the casting is TBA and is equally important, particularly the role of James’s morphine-addled wife Mary, who you’d expect to be played by an actor of similar stature to Cox. We don’t even know for sure that it’ll happen next year, though you have to assume there’s a solid chance given theatre shows are rarely announced years in advance
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