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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 17:45 GMT
The Graduate's London term ends
Kathleen Turner was the first Mrs Robinson in the show
Kathleen Turner was the first Mrs Robinson in the show
The London run of The Graduate, the stage show that has seen a string of actresses bare all as a middle-aged seductress, comes to the end of its West End run this weekend.

The show, a stage version of the Oscar-winning 1967 film, will now transfer to Broadway after being seen by more than 400,000 people in the UK.

The Graduate has become infamous for its nude scenes, featuring high-profile stars including Kathleen Turner, Jerry Hall and Linda Gray.

They have all played Mrs Robinson, who woos a younger man, Benjamin Braddock.

Jerry Hall: Not a hit with critics
Jerry Hall: Not a hit with critics
Its final performance at London's Gielgud Theatre will be on Saturday.

Producers have denied that the show became a casualty of falling visitor numbers after 11 September.

When the announcement of its closure was made in November, ticket sales were as high as when Kathleen Turner made headlines as the show's first Mrs Robinson from April 2000, they said.

Turner will reprise her role in Toronto, Baltimore and Boston before going to Broadway from 4 April.

She will be joined by Clueless star Alicia Silverstone and American Pie actor Jason Biggs, who will play Benjamin, the graduate who becomes the object of Mrs Robinson's affections.

The film won an Oscar in 1968
The film won an Oscar in 1968
Before the London run opened, ticket sales went through the roof when it was announced that Turner, then aged 45, would appear naked on stage.

Her debut was met with a standing ovation from theatregoers, but a mixed reaction from critics.

One reviewer said she gave the seduction scene "a comic sexiness, as if Mae West were coming on to a panic-stricken Jerry Lewis".

The show was originally scheduled for a short run, but was continually extended to meet demand.

After Turner came Jerry Hall, then 43, the former wife of Rolling Stones star Mick Jagger.

Linda Gray is London's last Mrs Robinson
Linda Gray is London's last Mrs Robinson
She fared worse at the hand of the critics, with one saying: "Jerry, I'm afraid, is no actress. But she's got great legs."

Hall was replaced by Amanda Donohoe, the youngest of the stars at 39, who was followed by Fatal Attraction star Anne Archer, 53.

Then came Linda Gray, 60, who played Sue Ellen in TV soap Dallas, and became London's last Mrs Robinson.

The show will have taken £10m by the end of its West End run.

The story was originally a novel by Charles Webb, which became the film starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. Terry Johnson adapted it for the stage.

Worldwide

When the announcement of the closure was made, producers John Reid and Sacha Brooks said: "The Graduate has been a West End event every night for nearly two years. We have always hoped to go out on a high."

The Graduate has also played in Australia, South Africa and Poland.

Other high-profile West End shows to close in recent months include Starlight Express, Notre Dame De Paris and The Witches Of Eastwick.

The London staging of Cats, the longest-running musical in history, has just announced that it is to come to an end after 21 years.

See also:

29 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Dallas star Graduates to West End
17 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Donohoe lands Mrs Robinson role
09 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Hall fails critics' Graduate test
23 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Joan Collins shuns nude role
13 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Jerry takes nude Graduate role
06 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Risqué Kathleen divides critics
05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Turner bares all in stage debut
29 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Turner nudity boosts ticket sales
02 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Kathleen graduates to West End
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