Bill Kenwright presents the anticipated return of A.R. Gurney’s heart-warming play Love Letters to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited season of only 32 performances from 19 May – 13 June 2021.
Directed by Roy Marsden, Love Letters received probably its best ever reviews when Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove were reunited in the play last year. Their special chemistry led to highly acclaimed performances in this uplifting tale of long-distanced love and enduring friendship.
The critically lauded production of Love Letters originally opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket to a clamour of four star reviews on 3 December 2020. It was the first post-lockdown play to open in the West End since the pandemic began, before sadly being forced to close on 14 December due to increased restrictions in London.
Love Letters first opened in New York in 1989 and was a finalist in the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Gaining huge popularity, it has since played in theatres across the globe, attracting both real-life and on-screen couples to star as the protagonists. The last Broadway production in 2014 featured Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy.
When the young Andrew Makepeace Ladd III accepts an invitation to Melissa Gardner’s birthday party, Melissa writes him a thank you note… and a unique romantic friendship and delicately warm correspondence destined to last for almost half a century is born.
Love Letters is the tender, tragi-comic story of the shared nostalgia, missed opportunities, and deep closeness of two lifelong, complicated friends. A play that could have been written for the Covid era about two people physically separated yet brought together by candid communication and shared confidences, a romance blossoming across the miles and the years.
The hugely popular TV series Judge John Deed ended its sixth and final series with one of TV’s most-watched cliff-hangers, keeping nine million TV viewers on tenterhooks as on-off lovers Judge John Deed (Martin Shaw) and barrister Jo Mills (Jenny Seagrove) were left in an empty wedding chapel.
Since then Judge John Deed has consistently topped polls of TV shows viewers most want to return.
Now Shaw and Seagrove are together again, live on stage, in a heart-warming love story…
In the interim, both have made several West End theatre appearances and Shaw has starred in several series as Inspector George Gently, while Seagrove has completed big screen appearances in Another Mother’s Son and Off the Rails.
Martin Shaw's many West End successes include: Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (both Theatre Royal Haymarket), Alan Bleasdale’s Are You Lonesome Tonight, Clifford Odets' The Country Girl, Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men and most recently (and relevantly) as a tortured American presidential candidate in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.
Jenny Seagrove last starred at the Haymarket in Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves and her many West End productions include Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana, David Rabe's Hurly Burly, David Hare’s The Secret Rapture, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter and Somerset Maugham’s The Letter.
Bill Kenwright Limited has been supported by a Department of Culture Media and Sport Cultural Recovery Grant, enabling productions to be mounted when theatre capacities are necessarily reduced for social distancing and when large live productions requiring currently unobtainable insurance against Covid cancellation cannot be produced. Love Letters as originally written works perfectly in the context of social distancing and will be presented in a Covid-secure environment in line with government guidelines.