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Geoffrey Rush wants to link Broadway, Australia

June 8, 2009

geoffrey-rushTony Award winner Geoffrey Rush wants to return to Broadway in the next couple of years — with another production from his native Australia.

 ”I’m trying to find something because I definitely want to come back here in the next couple of years,” Rush told reporters backstage after winning the best actor in a play Tony Award on Sunday for his Broadway debut in “Exit The King.”

He wants to create a link between Australian theaters and Broadway similar to the “pathway” he said exists between top London theaters and Broadway, which helps some British productions find their way to New York’s Great White Way.

“I’d love to try and now help establish even a stronger bond for some of the great original work that’s coming out of Australian theaters,” said Oscar winner Rush.

“Billy Elliot The Musical,” which won 10 Tony Awards including best musical, and “The Norman Conquests,” which won best revival of a play, both came to Broadway from London.

A veteran theater actor in Australia, Rush received rave reviews for his Broadway debut in “Exit The King,” which he and the play’s director Neil Armfield adapted from Eugene Ionesco’s 1962 play. The production, which played in Australia in 2007, finishes its three-month Broadway run on Sunday.

“I’m a very slow learner,” Rush, 57, joked of his late Broadway debut. “It took me into my 40s to find the right time to be in film.” 

“People have offered me roles before and I didn’t really feel like plunging into being a guest on four-week rehearsal period on some kind of classic,” he said. “I wanted to bring something out of our theatrical soil that we’d already tested.”

(PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

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