Sheffield Theatre's West wins early praise

July 5, 2005 at 2:42 PM

SHEFFIELD, England, July 5 (UPI) -- Actor-director Samuel West will oversee revivals of Broadway musicals in his first season as artistic director of Britain's Sheffield Theatres.

West begins the season Sept. 21 as an actor, playing Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing"

He takes the director's chair in the rare staging of "The Romans in Britain," a violent and sexually explicit play that sparked legal action and debate about theatrical censorship when it debuted in 1980.

This season's staging in Sheffield will be the first professional production in Britain since then, Variety reported.

West, the son of British theater veterans Prunella Scales and Timothy West, already has won critical praise for his "missionary fervor" and team assembled for the coming season.

West took the reins from Michael Grandage, who won worldwide acclaim for the Yorkshire theater with productions that included "Don Carlos."

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