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David Tennant returns to London stage in play about nazism | Stage


David Tennant is returning to the stage in a play that tackles the question of how sane, good people succumbed to the evils of nazism.

The revival of CP Taylor’s Good will be the first production from a new company set up by Dominic Cooke, the former artistic director of the Royal Court, and its former executive director Kate Horton.

Good was set in 1930s Germany but felt very much a play for now, Cooke said, adding: “It is very current. It shows how people can blur reality, turn away from difficult moments and allow themselves to become inveigled into hideous situations.

“We are in danger of that happening now. Not just politically but in terms of the environment, how we seem to collectively be able to ignore the evidence in front of us. It is a play really about denial.”

Cooke remembers seeing the play in the West End when he was 15 and it making a significant impression. Alan Howard played the main role of John Halder while Sir Charles Dance was the star of a Donmar Warehouse revival in 1999.

Tennant, recently seen as a murder suspect in Channel 4’s Deadwater Fell, was last in the West End in 2017 in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho.

He said Cooke was one of the UK’s all-time great theatre directors and Good was “a fantastic bit of writing that is more pertinent and resonant now than it ever has been”.

Cooke ran the Royal Court from 2007-13 and has gone on to direct The Hollow Crown – Wars of the Roses on television, the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, and Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre.

He said he and Horton had been talking for a long time about reuniting. “I didn’t want to go back to running a building because it is just so burdensome. You have so much extra you have to deal with, especially now. It is so complex.”

However, Cooke admitted that he missed developing projects from an early stage and working with other directors.

The new company, Fictionhouse, will produce theatre, TV and film with choices based largely on instinct. “We won’t have a policy other than doing projects that feel current and alive and urgently in need of being made.”

Good will open at the Playhouse theatre in October.

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