TRUE BRIT: Are British actors shunning the silver screen in favor of the stage? Kenneth Branagh made his first regular stage performance in 10 years this week when he appeared in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, following in the footsteps of Joseph Fiennes. “There’s just a fantastic buzz here at the moment,” said a theater spokesman. “Branagh has provoked the biggest run on tickets in the Crucible’s 30-year history. They’re selling like hot cakes.” Directed by Michael Grandage, the production has so far attracted audiences from as far afield as Japan and the U.S. In London, Jude Law made his debut this week as Dr. Faustus at the Young Vic Theatre, in a production by Natural Nylon, which was founded by Law and his wife, Sadie Frost. Frost and friend Kate Moss were both rooting for him in the front row when the play opened on Monday to mixed reviews.
MUM’S THE WORD: Jerry Hall’s theater persona will go from lover to loving mother when the former star of the West End production of “The Graduate” prepares to play the role of the doting Mrs. Darling in a play based on the story of Peter Pan. Hall, who played Mrs. Robinson when “The Graduate” opened in London, is in discussions to play Wendy’s mother, whose storytelling brings Peter Pan to life. The production will be staged at the Richmond Theater in Surrey, near London, during the Christmas season. The script, which will follow the original story, has not yet been completed, according to a spokeswoman for Hall.
The stars aren’t the only ones flying into town for Oscar weekend festivities. The designers have also descended en masse upon Los Angeles. Among them: Alberta Ferretti, Tom Ford, Angela Missoni, Elie Saab and Donna Karan. Friday, Donatella Versace, Hedi Slimane and Christian Louboutin are expected to touch down. So, Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley should feel right at home. (They’re coming for Vanity Fair’s Oscar night party at Morton’s). Contrary to some reports, Nicolas Ghesquiere will not be in town.