Annie Proulx’s short story “Brokeback Mountain” is headed to the London stage, Deadline reports.
The play with music is scheduled to open this spring at the @sohoplace, a theater in the West End. Starring will be Mike Faist, known for his Tony Award–nominated role in Dear Evan Hansen, and Lucas Hedges, who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film Manchester by the Sea.
Proulx’s story was published in the New Yorker in 1997 and collected in her 1999 book, Close Range, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The story follows Ennis and Jack, two men who fall in love while working as shepherds in 1963 Wyoming. In a review of Close Range, a critic for Kirkus singled out the story, calling it “powerful.”
“Brokeback Mountain” was adapted for a 2004 film, directed by Ang Lee, written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film was a commercial and critical hit, winning three Academy Awards.
The story was also adapted as an opera by Charles Wuorinen, featuring a libretto by Proulx, which premiered at Madrid’s Teatro Real in 2014.
The London play is written by Ashley Robinson (Fall of ’94) and directed by Jonathan Butterell (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie). The songs come from Dan Gillespie Sells, the lead singer of the British rock band The Feeling, and will be performed by a country band with Eddi Reader on vocals.
A statement from Proulx on @sohoplace’s website reads, “Brokeback Mountain has been recreated in several different forms, each with its own distinctive moods and impact. Ashley’s script is fresh and deeply moving, opening sight lines not visible in the original nor successive treatments.”
Brokeback Mountain is set to premiere on May 10 and run for three months.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.