Time travelling busybody The Doctor has got up to all sorts of antics in his 50-year history, but unless there’s something really wacky on those lost ’60s tapes, it’s fair to say he’s never cut up a hooker with a chainsaw, killed a girl with a hungry rat, or got an erection while watching Bono perform in the late ’80s.
So it’s a definite change of pace for departing eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, the former ‘History Boy’ who makes his return to the stage in tuneful mode by playing psychopathic businessman Patrick Bateman in Headlong and the Almeida’s ‘American Psycho – The Musical’.
The influential Islington venue already had a red hot ticket with this new musical version of Bret Easton Ellis’s bloody yuppie satire, which is directed by new Almeida boss Rupert Goold, mastermind behind such mind-frazzling hits as ‘Enron’, ‘Earthquakes in London’ and ‘The Effect’. But Smith’s late announced involvement has started a predictable panic buy for the scant number of remaining tickets, crashing the venue’s servers.
Our admittedly speculative message to you is: DON’T PANIC. A West End transfer for ‘American Psycho’ always seemed likely – even without a star name a Goold-directed musical sounds too big to be confined by a 300-seat off-West End theatre, and the huge success of the Almeida and Headlong’s recent ‘Chimerica’ sets a big precedent. The presence of Smith makes a move to a bigger venue for a longer run seem more or less inevitable. Er, unless it’s rubbish, in which case you’ll be glad you didn’t waste your time. (It’s won’t be, though. At the very least, the man knows how to wear a suit).
‘American Psycho’ is at the Almeida Theatre, December 3-January 25 2014.