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Orlando Bloom to play hit man in ‘tense, gut-twisting thriller’ Killer Joe as he returns to London theatre

Adam Bloodworth March 26, 2018

(Amanda Freidman)

Orlando Bloom will return to London theatre to star as Killer Joe in a darkly comic thriller of the same name.

Buy tickets: Click here for Killer Joe tickets, starring Orlando Bloom

The show about a killer-for-hire was penned in 1993 by playwright Tracy Letts, and was adapted into a film also called Killer Joe in 2011.

The American gothic black comedy documents the Smith family, who bizarrely plan to murder an estranged matriarch of the family in order to gain her insurance money.

Related: BFI Flare: Love, Scott — a compassionate call to arms against hate crime

(ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

In comes Joe Cooper, played by Orlando, who lives a double life as a police detective and killer, on the side.

However, when Joe meets the Smith family and becomes intertwined in their story, matters soon spiral out of control.

Killer Joe will open at the Trafalgar Studio 1 on 18 May and run until 18 August.

Related: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival transforms the capital into the ‘best queer venue in the world’

“Tracy Lett’s Killer Joe is an incredible, adrenaline-fueled piece of writing, with a dark and gritty character to play,” Orlando said in a statement to press.

“It’s an interesting comment on a disenfranchised view of the American dream. Whilst Joe may appear to be simply a killer, I believe Lett’s intentions for Joe are far more layered. It’s very different from many of the film roles I’m most recognized for.”

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

“After talking it through with director Simon Evans, I know we will create a production that is polarizing, entertaining, dark and funny. The play may be 25 years old this year, but the relationships it portrays, especially between Joe and the innocent girl Dottie, speak so brilliantly to the empowerment we’re seeing around the world in 2018.”

“It’s the perfect time to be bringing this play back to London, and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of it.”

Related: Aladdin will be the Hackney Empire’s 20th anniversary pantomime this Christmas 

Orlando Bloom is known for his work in Hollywood films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Killer Joe, produced by Emily Dobbs Productions and Empire Street Productions and will be directed by Simon Evans, and will play a limited 13-week season.

More: Going Out

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