DRUMROLL! Damian Lewis returns to West End in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

source: Hollywood Reporter

“I almost dare not ask this… but who is Sylvia?” -Ross

Damian Lewis is making a wonderful comeback to West End, just two years after storming American Buffalo along with John Goodman and Tom Sturridge, in the new revival of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The Goat is arguably the most provocative and controversial play by Albee who unfortunately passed away in September at the age of 88. It won all the major theater awards, namely Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle, for Best New Play of the Year when it was first staged on Broadway in 2002.

Damian will be headlining The Goat in the role of Martin Gray, a hugely successful architect who has just turned fifty. Martin seems to have a happy family life with his loving wife Stevie and teenage son Billy. However, this seemingly ideal life starts to fall apart as soon as Martin confides to his best friend Ross that he is also in love with Sylvia, who is, well… a goat!

Now, how do you solve a problem like Sylvia? 😀

source: Theatre Royal Haymarket
source: Theatre Royal Haymarket

The late Edward Albee describes his play as follows:

“Every civilization sets quite arbitrary limits to its tolerances. The play is about a family that is deeply rocked by an unimaginable event and how they solve that problem. It is my hope that people will think afresh about whether or not all the values they hold are valid.”

Ian Rickson, who was the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1998 to 2006, will be directing the play. And we cannot wait to find out about who will play Stevie, Billy and Ross.


After the announcement, Damian has spoken on the phone with The Evening Standard from New York, where he is currently shooting Billions Season 2, regarding his return to the West End:

“I grew up going to the West End and I love the West End. I love the diversity of the audiences. I love the tradition that it comes from. I find it very beguiling. It can encompass all things and that’s why I love it. I’m excited.”

It turns out Damian was at the London premiere of The Goat at the Almeida Theatre in 2004 in which Jonathan Pryce (the wonderful Cardinal Wolsey of Wolf Hall) played Martin opposite a very young Eddie Redmayne’s Billy and LOVED it.


“It was one of the most fascinating nights I’ve ever had in a theatre. The play stayed with me. The absurd central premise is on the face of it ludicrous, and funny, and awful. But what emerges through the play is that it’s about different expressions of love and ideas of forbidden love.

“It speaks to the limitations of human imagination while at the same time asking the audience to believe in something they’ve never, I’m hoping, had to believe in before. That’s why the play is fascinating. It’s laceratingly funny, uncomfortable and daring. But in the end I think it’s a very serious and poignant play about relationships and our understanding of love.”

It is obviously sad that Edward Albee passed away in September and will not be able to see this new production of the play that is widely accepted to be his late masterpiece. However, I believe, the West End revival of The Goat will be a beautiful tribute to the late playwright’s wonderful legacy.

Damian tells The Evening Standard: “I was really looking forward to meeting him and him seeing the show. But he sadly passed away. He was very fussy about who he gives the rights to his play to so we felt very lucky and want to do well by him.”

Oh I certainly know that the lucky ones among us that will be able to see Damian on stage are in for a real treat. He has a captivating presence on stage so much so that it is quite difficult to take your eyes off Damian even when he is just sitting quietly.

The previews start on March 24, 2017, and the press night will take place on April 5. Please note that the play will have a limited 12-week run until June 24.Tickets will be selling out fast so if you plan to go see The Goat, make sure you book your tickets as soon as possible. And, for BEST prices, it is always a better idea to book tickets online at the theatre’s website rather than through other agencies.

And, last but not the least, keep watching this space for detailed coverage of the play and any news updates about the revival.

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

13 thoughts on “DRUMROLL! Damian Lewis returns to West End in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?”

  1. Bought two tickets this morning, pray that I live that long. I would be happy to take everyone out to post show dinner if I make it!

    1. Congratulations – I am so happy for you! Why are you praying to live that long? Hope it is just a joke and everything is alright, Agnes!
      I believe the tickets are selling out fast and you did the right thing buying them today! <3
      This reminds me... I have to move fast!

      1. Forgot to say that I have two tickets for Sat. March 25th. Plan to go with my grandson or daughter. Would not it be great to get a group together and ask Damian to drop by? We can always ask…

        1. Second day! He is coming to stage door after almost every performance but I can guarantee that he will be there on second day. Have a selfie and say hi from us. ❤️

  2. My son wants to offer me a new London trip, I hope that his work will not stop him from leaving Paris at these dates

    1. LOVELY, Monique! I am sure your son will find a day or two in the 12-week window and you will travel to London! So happy for you!

    1. Damian is a real dynamo on stage. The downside with theater is that only the lucky few have the privilege to see the actor on stage. They have the technology nowadays to record the plays and then show them in movie theaters or just stream them. They really should do it.

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