Glee star Dianna Agron will make her stage debut in a new drama about fashion designer Alexander McQueen, with award-winning British actor Stephen Wight in the title role.
Agron, 28, who also appeared with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in film The Family, has moved to London to take up the role. She plays Dahlia, a fan of the designer who embarks on a journey with him through the streets of the capital in James Phillips’s new play, McQueen.
Romford-born Wight, who beat Matt Smith to be named outstanding newcomer at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2007, is also returning to London to premiere the drama, after spending the winter forging new contacts in America.
Wight, 35, was last seen on stage in West End hit The Ladykillers. He said: “I couldn’t turn down the chance to take on the role of Alexander McQueen. He was a London boy who came from a humble background, a bit like myself, trying to get ahead in an artistic world. James has done a wonderful job of capturing the complexity of him.”
Agron said: “I loved McQueen as a designer and I love the way they have shaped this story. It’s not biographical, it’s fantasy-based.” That seemed appropriate because “his work was so theatrical and so imaginative”, she added. Apart from concerts at The O2 with the cast of Glee, in which she played cheerleader Quinn Fabray, she last appeared on stage as a child, when she performed ballet as well as singing in school shows.
She came to London in December specifically to hunt for a stage role – and then faced a rival offer from Broadway which she turned down.
Agron said she was thrilled to be making the capital her home, and joked about throwing her American passport away. “I would like to be here for ever,” she said. “I really want to be a well-balanced artist and I think there’s probably no better way to strengthen your craft than on stage. There’s something so special about it.”
Earlier this month the actress attended the gala opening of Savage Beauty, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition about McQueen. She said watching classic movie Sabrina, with Audrey Hepburn changing from a young girl to a sophisticated woman in a Givenchy dress, first showed her the “transformative” power of fashion.
McQueen will also feature former EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Obermann as the designer’s muse Isabella Blow. It runs at St James Theatre in Palace Street, Victoria, from May 12 to June 6.