Claudio Macor's The Tailor-Made Man Opens in London May 16 | Playbill

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London News Claudio Macor's The Tailor-Made Man Opens in London May 16

The production is the inaugural play at the new Stage Door Theatre in Drury Lane.

Gwithian Evans and Hugo Pilcher Peter Davies

The London revival of Claudio Macor's The Tailor-Made Manwhich spotlights late, gay Hollywood actor William "Billy" Haines—is the inaugural production at the new Stage Door Theatre in Drury Lane, billed as "the first pub theatre in the West End."

Directed by Robert McWhir, the production officially opens May 16 following previews that began May 9. Performances are scheduled to continue through August 3.

The company features Gwithian Evans (The Mousetrap) as Jimmie Shields, Hugo Pilcher as William "Billy" Haines, Peter Rae (Dead Lies) as Howard Strickling, Shelley Rivers (Marry Me a Little) as Marion Davies, Olivia Ruggerio (Puppets) as Carole Lombard/Pola Negri, and Dereck Walker (Grindr the Opera) as Louis B. Mayer.

Haines was a popular MGM movie star in the 1920s who was fired by Louis B. Mayer because he was gay and refused to give up his lifelong partner, Jimmie Shields, and marry silent-screen star Pola Negri. As punishment, his films were pulled from release and sealed in the MGM vaults in an attempt to erase him from movie history. But Haines and Shields' turbulent, passionate relationship lasted over 50 years. The play tells their story.

Playwright Macor said in an earlier statement, “Thirty years ago a friend gave me a copy of Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon. As I was reading the various Hollywood scandals Kenneth Anger so vividly described, I came across 'The White Legion and the Purple Poodle' and first discovered the story of William 'Billy' Haines and Jimmie Shields.”

The Tailor-Made Man premiered in London at the Hen and Chickens in 1992, subsequently transferring to the Battersea Arts Centre, followed by a TV showcase by Thames Television. The play was later performed on Freedom Radio, in San Diego, West Hollywood, London's Cockpit Theatre, and Off-Broadway. It was turned into a musical in 2013 at London’s Arts Theatre.

The Tailor-Made Man has designs by David Shields. LAMBCO Productions produces.

Stage Door Theatre is located at The Prince of Wales Pub at 150-151 Drury Lane.


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