July 23, 2024

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Adrien Brody, an Oscar winner, is preparing for his debut role on the London stage

Adrien Brody is set to make his London stage debut in a play based on the true story of a man wrongly convicted of murder.

The Oscar-winning US actor, who won his Academy Award at age 29 for 2002’s The Pianist, will star in the world premiere of The Fear of 13 at the Donmar Warehouse later this year. Written by Lindsey Ferrentino, the play tells the poignant tale of Nick Yarris, who spent 22 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

“I love the theatre, and although I have not been on the stage in many years, I have been searching for the right material and this was so clearly the one,” said Brody.

Yarris’s saga began in the early 1980s when he was initially charged with the kidnapping and attempted murder of a police officer in Pennsylvania following a routine traffic stop. Despite being acquitted of those charges, Yarris became entangled in another case after attempting to manipulate authorities by falsely implicating someone he believed to be deceased in a separate crime. This led to Yarris himself being accused of abduction, rape, and murder, resulting in his wrongful conviction and death sentence at just 21 years old in 1982.

Yarris remained incarcerated on death row until 2004 when new DNA evidence ultimately exonerated him. Following his release, he penned a memoir titled Seven Days to Live, later reissued as The Fear of 13. The play is based on a 2015 documentary by David Sington.

In discussing his attraction to the role, Brody emphasized, “The writing just spoke to me. I often follow my instincts when I am utterly moved by the text. I am used to a style of working on film that is very different, so this is a chance to step out of my comfort zone and explore something incredibly powerful and intimate.”

Brody expressed excitement about performing in London, particularly at the iconic and intimate Donmar Warehouse. Directed by Justin Martin, The Fear of 13 will run for two months starting from October 4th. It is part of artistic director Tim Sheader’s inaugural season at the Donmar, which also includes productions like Backstroke starring Celia Imrie and Tamsin Greig, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, and Intimate Apparel featuring Samira Wiley.

Sheader remarked, “I am hugely honoured to be leading this very special theatre into a new era, building on the legacy of my predecessors. With all these new projects, I look forward to welcoming both loyal and new audiences to gather together in our beautiful three-sided auditorium, where connecting with artists and each other is central to every performance.”