Orlando Bloom returning to the West End after 11 years for 'Killer Joe'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Orlando Bloom to return to West End (Credit: PA)

Orlando Bloom is heading back to the West End for the first time in 11 years.

He’s set to star in Killer Joe, a play about a policeman who is also a contract killer, a black comedy penned by Tracy Letts and directed by Simon Evans.

Matthew McConaughey starred in a big screen adaptation of the play, first written in 1993, back in 2011, directed by The French Connection helmsman William Friedkin.

“I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a wonderful time to be home and doing such a dynamic, interesting piece of material. I had a fantastic time playing Romeo on Broadway and was craving the opportunity to get back on stage,” he told the Evening Standard.

“It’s a great way to keep the tools sharp.

(Credit: AP Photo/Independent Pictures)

“I always felt most focused, when I was a kid, when I was on stage. I was exhilarated and terrified. That adrenaline rush of being in front of an audience really got me going, made me first fall in love with the idea of becoming an actor.”

Of the material, he added: “It will be polarising. It is the opportunity to shift perception of what people think you are. Joe is a unique piece. It’s fun to dance with your shadow self while trying to find the light in there too.

“This play is particularly interesting at this time. It’s about the disenfranchised American dream. But it’s funky and provocative and visceral. It’s everything I go to the theatre for.”

He last appeared on stage in the West End in 2007, in a production of In Celebration, but starred in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway in 2013.

Bloom, known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean movies, also revealed his unorthodox method for bringing to the role to life.

“I will start to look at animals — I’ll go to the zoo. I like to find an animal, some kind of creature that helps me to inhabit the character — their rhythm, beat and pace. I’m quite physical as a person,” he said.

The play opens on May 18 at the Trafalgar Studio 1.

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