LUCY PUNCH TO LEAD CAST IN WEST END TRANSFER OF NICHOLAS HYTNER’S SOLD OUT NATIONAL THEATRE PRODUCTION OF RICHARD BEAN’S GREAT BRITAIN
Lucy Punch will play the leading role of Paige Britain in the West End transfer of Richard Bean’s new play, Great Britain. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the National Theatre’s sold out production transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 9 September 2014 with opening night on 26 September at 7pm. Great Britain’s strictly limited run, booking to 10 January 2015, is designed by Tim Hatley, with video design by 59 Productions, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Grant Olding and sound by Paul Arditti.
Richard Bean’s fast and furious new play is an anarchic and foul-mouthed satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Paige Britain is the ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers.
Ben Mansfield also joins members of the original NT company for the West End cast, which comprises Sarah Annis, Ross Boatman, Robert Calvert, William Chubb, Dermot Crowley, Jo Dockery, Robert Glenister, Ian Hallard, James Harkness, Scott Karim, Barbara Kirby, Nicholas Lumley, Ben Mansfield, Maggie McCarthy, Iain Mitchell, Miles Mitchell, Aaron Neil, Lucy Punch, Nick Sampson, Kellie Shirley, Kiruna Stamell, Harriet Thorpe, Rupert Vansittart, Joseph Wilkins and Andrew Woodall.
Lucy Punch returns to the UK to join the cast of Great Britain to play Paige Britain. Her previous theatre credits are Boy Gets Girl for the Royal Court Theatre, A Carpet, A Pony, and A Monkey for the Bush Theatre and The Graduate at the Gielgud Theatre. Her television credits include Ben and Kate, Vexed and The Class. Her many film credits include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Hot Fuzz, St Trinian’s, Bad Teacher, Being Julia, Are You Ready for Love and Dinner for Schmucks. She was most recently directed on film by Rob Marshall in Disney’s Into The Woods which will be released in the UK in the new year.
Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, also directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre and winner of the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Play, is currently on its third UK tour following runs at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway. His other plays for the National Theatre are England People Very Nice and The Mentalists. Bean has also written The Heretic (Evening Standard Award), Harvest (Critics’ Circle Award), Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback and Toast for the Royal Court (the latter shortly to be revived at the Park Theatre); The Big Fellah for Out of Joint at the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour; and the forthcoming Pitcairn for Out of Joint, Chichester Festival Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. He adapted David Mamet’s House of Games and wrote a new version of The Hypochondriac for the Almeida Theatre, and has written the book for the new West End musical Made in Dagenham.
Since he became Director of the National in April 2003, Nicholas Hytner has directed Henry V, His Dark Materials, The History Boys, Stuff Happens, Henry IV, Southwark Fair, The Alchemist, The Man of Mode, The Rose Tattoo (with Steven Pimlott), Rafta, Rafta… , Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, England People Very Nice, Phèdre, The Habit of Art, London Assurance, Hamlet, Collaborators, Travelling Light, One Man Two Guvnors, Timon of Athens, People, Cocktail Sticks, Othello and Live from the National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage.
Great Britain received its world premiere at the National Theatre in June this year.