Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Sean Foley are teaming for a West End stage production of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1964 war satire, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Billed as the first-ever adaptation of a Kubrick work, Dr. Strangelove will star Coogan in multiple roles at London’s Noel Coward Theatre for a limited run from October 8, 2024-December 21, 2024.
The adaptation hails from Veep creator and Coogan’s Alan Partridge collaborator Iannucci, and Olivier Award-winner Foley. Foley will also direct.
The original Oscar-nominated film about a rogue U.S. General who triggers a nuclear crisis, starred Peter Sellers, George C Scott, Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens, among others. Sellers memorably played more than one character, scoring an Oscar nomination in the process.
Said Coogan, “The idea of putting Dr. Strangelove on stage is daunting. A huge responsibility. It’s also an exciting challenge, an opportunity to bring this timeless classic to a new audience… I will be working with the best people. Sean is a master of stage comedy and Armando and I started working with each other over 30 years ago. We made some memorable comedy together so it’s great to be collaborating with him once again.”
Iannucci, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the team is hoping to send people home “with a smile and a scream,” commented, “It’s a tale of our time and it needs one of the most amazing talents of our time to tell it: I’ve seen Steve Coogan close-up for many years now, and can tell you that no one gets right under the skin of a character the way he does. There’s a total focus on how each character would speak and move and even think, added to which is an instinctive comic timing and dramatic charisma that’s second to none. He’s able to get huge audiences to connect with the vulnerabilities and fine details of each character he brings to life. We’re all so delighted he’ll be bringing these amazing gifts to the stage for the hugely contrasting roles in Dr. Strangelove and I for one can’t wait to see Steve make them his own. It’s going to be a thrill for all of us.”
Foley added, “I’m thrilled and excited to finally be able to say that one of our very finest actor-comedians, the amazingly talented Steve Coogan, is to play the lead in our world premiere stage version of Dr. Strangelove… Steve has excelled at being able to make people belly laugh even while they wince – sensing the maladroit, the madness, and the menace in his extraordinary characters… I can think of no better actor to convey the ’nightmare comedy’ of Strangelove.”
Dr. Strangelove is produced by Patrick Myles and David Luff, in association with Tulchin Bartner Productions and Playful Productions. Jonathan Cameron is executive producer for the Stanley Kubrick Estate.