There's an old saying in the theater and you all know it: "The show must go on." That may apply to any number of complications, mishaps or impossibilities for various stagehands, cast members and production assistants, but for Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen in the above trailer for "The Dresser," it basically means, "Air raid sirens be damned. We're putting on a play here."
An adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, adapted and directed by Richard Eyre ("Notes on a Scandal," "Iris"), "The Dresser" — in a description taken directly from the Starz synopsis — "tells the story of one fateful night, backstage in a small regional theatre during World War II as a troupe of touring actors stages a production of Shakespeare's 'King Lear.' Bombs are falling, sirens are wailing, the curtain is up in an hour but the actor/manager 'Sir' (Hopkins) who is playing Lear is nowhere to be seen. His dresser, Norman, (McKellen) must scramble to make sure the show goes on."
"The Dresser" offers a sharply funny and emotionally resonant take on friendship, with its true focus being on Sir's quest to reconcile his life with those around him before the final curtain drops. Harwood originally adapted this work to the screen in the 1983 film directed by Peter Yates (starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay), but the current production uses his original text taken directly from the play.
"The Dresser" premieres Monday, May 30 on Starz, Starz Play and Starz VOD (for subscribers). Watch the first trailer above and check out some early photos below.