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Darius is back with the wind

AUTHOR: Louise Jury
SOURCE: This is London
PUBLISHED ON: February 1,2008

Trevor Nunn has chosen Pop Idol star Darius Danesh to play Rhett Butler in his new production of Gone With The Wind.

The 27-year-old singer is stepping into the role made famous by Clark Gable in the 1939 film. The stage version is one of the most eagerly anticipated shows in London this year.

Danesh previously appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago and Sky Masterson in Guys And Dolls. But this will be his biggest role to date.

"It doesn't seem real - I'm over the moon," he told the Standard from Los Angeles, where he lives with actress and model Natasha Henstridge, star of Species.

"Just being asked to audition for Trevor Nunn was such a privilege. He's a master of Shakespeare and of musicals and of all that he touches. I knew he had at his disposal the cream of the crop to open his show.

"It was an ambition of mine to work with him and I can't believe that ambition is being fulfilled at the age of 27. I'm very excited." Memories of Gable were the biggest challenge, he admitted.

"It's such a loved work of art in celluloid and one of the greatest love stories of all time," said Darius. "Rhett is such a wonderful and funny and charming alpha male, as well as a bit of a brute and rough diamond."

Nunn, former director of the National Theatre, said: "I don't get time to watch a great deal of television so when I first saw Darius at a casting session he was new to me. He came through the most rigorous audition process I have ever conducted."

Gone With The Wind previews at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane, from 4 April.

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