Rupert Goold to Direct American Psycho Musical at London's Almeida
By Adam Hetrick
American Psycho, the new musical by Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, will premiere at London's Almeida Theatre this fall, Playbill.com has learned.
The musical thriller, set during the height of the 1980's era of Wall Street greed, is based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel. Rupert Goold (Macbeth, King Lear, Enron) will stage the production that will begin in late fall. The Almeida will present the production in association with David Johnson and Jesse Singer of Act 4 Entertainment.
Goold also staged a 2011 workshop of the material that featured Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof star Benjamin Walker as central character Patrick Bateman. London casting has not taken place.
American Psycho centers on a 26-year-old Manhattan investment banker who moonlights as a serial killer. It has music and lyrics by Sheik and a book by Aguirre-Sacasa, who also penned the revised book for Spider-Man, as well as the television series "Glee" and "Big Love."
Aguirre-Sacasa previously spoke to Playbill.com about the property in 2011. The staging features an original score by Sheik, with a few 80's pop songs sprinkled in.
"It's one man's horrific, misguided attempts to connect with the world around him," Aguirre-Sacasa pointed out. "To make sense of the societal chaos that's threatening to crush him and his friends. Patrick wants to belong—he wants to feel—he wants what we all want, on some level. But he is—to say the least—a deeply disturbed individual. With very few things keeping him tethered to the rest of the world we ('normal people') live in, as the musical begins, he loses one of those touchstones—his best friend, Tim Price—and things start spiraling out of control for him."
It is also the intent that the brutal murders depicted in the novel and film will be shocking on stage. The novel stirred controversy with its graphic accounts of how Bateman murdered his victims and mutilated their bodies. "The hope is to theatricalize the violence in such a way that it packs a visceral punch without being completely grindhouse," he said.
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