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|Mendes Blasts 'Event' Theatre
- Publicity stunts don't equal great plays, says award-winning director
DONMAR Warehouse director Sam Mendes has scorned the trend for Hollywood stars to appear on the London stage as a series of publicity stunts - despite the fact that the Oscar-winning director initiated the whole process by inviting Nicole Kidman to bare all in The Blue Room last year.
Mendes's comments come in the wake of news that model Jerry Hall is to replace Kathleen Turner as the naked Mrs Robinson in The Graduate. Last night Mendes said he had turned down American film stars who approached him with offers after Kidman's kit-off antics, saying he refused to transform the Donmar into an event at the expense of art.
"Brad Pitt, along with others, offered. But the problem is that theatre must not only be an event," said Mendes. "When theatre works, it stays with you for a lifetime. This is why we do what we do, because you can't reach up in the video shop and pull the play down."
His views on the naked ambitions of film stars aside, the Oscar-winning film director is actually more worried by the small screen than by cinema. "I think the problem with theatre is not films but television. It is stealing our actors," he said