Oscar nominee is Park’s Jane Fonda

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Mon 18 Apr 2016 17:27
Anne Archer (Photo: Idil Sukan)Anne Archer (Photo: Idil Sukan)/servlet/file/store5/item360409/version1/fileservice770/360409_770_preview.jpg

Fatal Attraction’s Golden Globe-winning star Anne Archer will play actress Jane Fonda in a new production of Terry Jastrow’s The Trial Of Jane Fonda at the Park Theatre this summer.

Archer, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the famous 1980s film starring Michael Douglas and current UK stage star Sunset Boulevard’s Glenn Close, will play the movie star and fitness guru in Jastrow’s fascinating drama about her unlikely role in the Vietnam War.

Penned by US writer and seven time Emmy Award winner Jastrow, the 1972-set drama tells the dramatic story of when Fonda, an outspoken activist against the Vietnam War, travelled to the country in her drive to attract worldwide public attention to the Nixon administration’s cover-up of the US policy of deliberately bombing the country’s vital system of irrigation dikes.

On the final day of her trip, she was photographed laughing and clapping astride a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, and overnight went from the soldiers’ favourite pin-up to ‘Hanoi Jane’, traitor to her country and the target of a huge hate campaign amongst the US military and supporters. Cut to 1988 and bitter demonstrations by veterans halt filming on a movie co-starring Fonda and Robert De Niro. Determined to stop her past dictating her future, Jane requests a meeting and enters a room full of angry men for whom the war still rages.

With that meeting shrouded in secrecy, Jastrow retraced Fonda’s steps, undertook extensive interviews with her Hanoi guides, dozens of veterans and the actor herself to create this powerful drama that made its world premiere at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Archer reprises her role as the activist actor following the show’s first outing. The screen star, who made her West End debut in 2001 as The Graduate’s Mrs Robinson, is best known for her many film roles in Hollywood hits including Patriot Games, Rules Of Engagement and Paradise Alley.

The Trial Of Jane Fonda will be directed by Joe Harmston and plays at the Finsbury Park venue from 13 July to 20 August.