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Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Turner nudity boosts ticket sales
Kathleen Turner and  Matthew Rhys
Turner gets intimate with co-star Rhys
Ticket sales for The Graduate in London's West End have gone through the roof after reports that Hollywood superstar Kathleen Turner appears naked on stage.

The Gielgud Theatre doubled the takings when the news filtered out, although producers insisted the quality of the play is also a key factor.
Kathleen Turner
The slow seduction begins
In it, Turner plays Mrs Robinson - a role made famous by Anne Bancroft in the 1967 film version - who embarks on an affair with a young man half her age.

The nude scene occurs when the 45-year-old actress emerges from the shower during her seduction of Benjamin Braddock, played by rising British star Matthew Rhys.

She drops her towel to the floor and continues to perform with nothing on.

In the film, Dustin Hoffman (Braddock) watches as Bancroft saucily removes her stockings, but she keeps the rest of her clothes on.

The Graduate does not officially open until 5 April, but preview reports have coincided with the huge upsurge in sales.

Ticket sales boost

A spokesman for the production admitted: "Ticket sales did double on Tuesday, but it's not just because people now know she is naked in it.

"It's also because the word is out that it is a also a terribly good production."

Turner, who made her name in Romancing The Stone and Peggy Sue Gets Married, does not appear to be phased by all the fuss.

When asked if she was too old to be stripping off on stage, she told London's Evening Standard newspaper: "You'll have to ask the audience. It's up to them to decide."

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The BBC's Rosie Millard
"Yet again the British theatre has managed to pull off a showbiz coup"
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