Matt Smith to star in American Psycho musical

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From Time Lord to Psycho. Just another routine costume change in the acting life of Matt Smith. After handing over the sonic screwdriver to Peter Capaldi, the Doctor Who star is heading for the West End to star in an all-singing, all-dancing musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho.

If the Almeida production sounds as unlikely a hit as Springtime For Hitler, Smith's involvement seems to have given it a reasonable chance of success. Although the coach parties of pensioners from Bournemouth who make up the West End's most reliable ticket-buyers are unlikely to warm to the visceral and explicit nature of Ellis's creation, it seems that Doctor Who fans are willing to make up the shortfall. The production has almost sold out its entire initial run from December 3 to January 25.

Smith plays the young Manhattan investment banker with an unaccountable penchant for eviscerating young women and listening to Phil Collins (just to underline what a monster he is). Its publication caused shock waves back in the last century, although the 2000 film adaptation with Christian Bale had less impact.

Ellis might be amused or bemused by the idea that a dark, nihilistic satire about corporate excess could be transformed into a West End musical, although given that his literary career has disappeared up several cul-de-sacs since American Psycho, he might just be grateful for the renewed attention.

Smith didn't go too deeply into the character's complexities when asked about the role. "The opportunity to work with Rupert Goold, a director of great vision and flair, combined with the brilliant story and music, seemed like such a cool challenge," he said.

Goold obligingly joined in the game of luvvie quote tennis. "Matt Smith is a wonderful stage performer and the perfect actor not only to lead our exceptional cast but also my first show as artistic director here at the Almeida," he said.

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