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Friday, June 19, 1998 Published at 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK


Entertainment

Kidman slashes fee for West End play

Nicole Kidman: shunning Hollywood for the West End

One of Hollywood's biggest stars, Nicole Kidman, has slashed her usual fee to star in a West End play.

Kidman frequently earns 5m per film. She will be paid 250 a week for her stage performance.

She is the latest in a string of movie stars to have snubbed Hollywood to tread the boards in London.

Kevin Spacey is currently appearing in The Iceman Cometh at The Almeida Theatre. Juliette Binoche, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes have all performed in the West End in recent years.


[ image: Oscar winner Kevin Spacey]
Oscar winner Kevin Spacey
All were believed to be paid the actors' union Equity's minimum wage of 250 a week.

It would take Kidman 384 years in the West End to earn what she does for one Hollywood film but it seems nothing quite compares to acting in the thespian capital of the world.

Kidman, the wife of actor Tom Cruise, has agreed to a part in the The Blue Room, which beguns its run in September at the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden.

Summer rehearsals

The Australian actress, who has been looking for a home in England, will spend five weeks in London during the summer rehearsing the play.

Kidman is a confirmed Anglophile despite an incident in Harrods a couple of years ago when a shop assistant mistakenly referred to her as Mrs Cruise.

When she replied: "My name's Kidman", the unfortunate soul apologised and said, mistakenly, that he had no idea they had split up.

The Blue Room, directed by award-winning director Sam Mendes, has been adapted by David Hare from Arthur Schnitzler's sexually-charged play La Ronde.

Kidman and her leading man Iain Glenn play five different couples in various romantic situations.

For the star of Dead Calm, Far and Away and To Die For it marks a welcome return to the stage.

The 32-year-old, who has two adopted children, has been reportedly yearning to act in the theatre again.

She has recently finished working with her husband on the Stanley Kubrick thriller Eyes Wide Shut, a project which set new records in overrunning schedules.

Equity spokesman Adam Baxter said: "We welcome artists of international reputation coming to appear in London because by their status they add to the production."

Mr Baxter said Kidman would have to take out temporary visiting membership of Equity to be able to work in Britain.

But he pointed out the acting migration was not all one way.

"Many British actors go to work on Broadway - Ian McKellen is going there with a production of Ibsen's Enemy of the People - and take out temporary membership of American Equity."





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