Helen Hunt to star in satire at the Old Vic about ‘a highly contagious virus’

Helen Hunt is to star in a “wince-inducing” satire at the Old Vic in London, about a community split by their views on vaccination.

Eureka Day, about a mumps outbreak at a school in California, is described by the theatre’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus, as “a very funny, clever and thought-provoking new play set amidst the panic of a highly contagious virus”. Jonathan Spector’s 2018 drama also explores the frenzy of trolling as parents struggle to reach a consensus on mandatory vaccination.

It will be the European premiere of the play, which had its first staging at the Aurora theatre in Berkeley, California and became an off-Broadway hit. Katy Rudd will direct the show, which is co-produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and will open in September. Friedman also co-produced the Old Vic’s recent political satire The 47th by Mike Bartlett starring Bertie Carvel as Donald Trump.

Warchus called Eureka Day a “brilliantly wince-inducing, laugh-out-loud, timely and volatile satire”. Having directed Hunt in the 1993 New York production of Yasmina Reza’s Life x 3, he said “it’s truly a joy to be welcoming her to the Old Vic for this spectacular production”.

Hunt’s theatrical credits include Twelfth Night on Broadway (as Viola) in 1998. An Oscar winner for As Good As It Gets, she is also known for her roles in the films What Women Want, Cast Away and Pay It Forward. She has since co-written, produced and directed two films, Then She Found Me and Ride.

Further casting for Eureka Day is yet to be announced.

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