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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Curtains for Mendes' West End run
Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes won a best director Oscar in 2000
Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes' first West End production under his new company is to close early.

Fuddy Meers, which is co-produced by Mendes' company Scamp, will close at the Arts Theatre on Saturday, two weeks after its official opening.

The bad-taste comedy, directed by Angus Jackson, opened to weak reviews but was due to run until the end of August.

It is the latest in a string of London theatre productions to announce an early closure.

The Shape of Things, by Neil LaBute, the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Amanda Holden, and Rattle Of A Simple Man are just some of the shows that have had to close their doors early.


May is traditionally a difficult month for attracting audiences, but Fuddy Meers got a lukewarm response from critics.

The play, written by David Lindsay-Abaire, centres on 24 hours in the life of Claire (Katie Finneran), an amnesiac trying to make sense of her increasingly befuddled world.

The London Evening Standard said the "heavy-handed production revels in futility and silliness", while The Times said it was "a strenuously acted disappointment".

Charles Spencer wrote in the Daily Telegraph that, despite a few laughs, the black comedy was "the kind of stuff of which nasty headaches are made".

But the Daily Express was more complimentary, calling it a "wonderfully weird and touching US comedy".

'Golden' boy

Fuddy Meers enjoyed a successful run on Broadway before Scamp, in co-production with Fiery Angel and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, brought it to Europe.

It ran for a month in Birmingham before transferring to the West End on 25 May.

Mendes, 38, who won a best director Oscar for American Beauty, starring Kevin Spacey, in 2000, ran the Donmar Warehouse theatre for 10 years.

He was instrumental in making the Donmar one of the most talked-about venues in London - with productions such as The Blue Room - and secured his place as the golden-boy of British directing.

He left the Donmar towards the end of 2002 and set up Scamp with Caro Newling and Pippa Cross.

Scamp announced its first group of film and theatre projects in February this year.

Winslet and Mendes' private lives
09 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Mendes triumphs at Oliviers
14 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Broadway raves over Mendes
22 Jan 03  |  Entertainment

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