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Former Skins star Jack O’Connell gets totally naked for ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ revival

By Will Stroude

Viewers of British teenage drama Skins will know that Hollywood heartthrob Jack O’Connell is no stranger to getting naked for the sake of his art, and the 26-year-old Unbroken star is once again daring to go bare – this time for the London revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

In news that will surely put bums firmly on seats throughout the show’s 10-week run at the capital’s Apollo Theatre, it has emerged that Jack spends much of Tennessee Williams’ 1955 play – about a wealthy family living on a Mississippi plantation – in a partial or complete state of undress.

The opening scene of director Benedict Andrews’s updated production sees O’Connell’s sexually-repressed character of Brick sitting completely naked in the shower – and what’s more, it turns out the Derbyshire-born actor didn’t know he’d be flashing audiences quite so much flesh when he took on the role.

“It was just turning up to the rehearsal room and there was a pole on the stage representing the shower”, Jack told the Evening Standard.

“When you read the script you were led to believe the shower was off-stage, so it was a revelation to realise I would be starkers.”

Co-star Sienna Miller, who plays Jack’s onscreen wife Maggie – a role immortalised on screen by Elizabeth Taylor in Richard Brooks’ 1958 film adaptation – adds that the nude shower scene is “a brilliant way to start a West End show”.

We couldn’t agree more, Sienna.

The High-Rise star, 35, continued: “You’re in the shower and it tells you instantly what play you are watching and I think that’s the genius of Benedict, that this is our version and this is what it is going to be — so hold on.”

One of gay playwright Tennessee Williams’ most celebrated works, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof examines the extreme relationships of a wealthy plantation-owning family in 1950s America; notably dealing with themes of life, death, class and sexual repression.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is at London’s Apollo Theatre until October 7. For tickets click here.

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