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Edward Fox returns to the West End in celebrated one-man play Sand in the Sandwiches

Edward Fox, Sand in the Sandwiches

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FRESH from a sell-out 2016 UK Tour, Edward Fox is returning to the West End in the celebrated one-man play exploring the life and work of John Betjeman, Sand in the Sandwiches. Written by Hugh Whitemore and directed by Gareth Armstrong, it runs at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited season from May 30 to June 3, 2017.

A journey through memory and verse, the play collates the work of the twentieth century’s most treasured poet.

Edward Fox said: “It is lovely to be returning to one of the great theatres of the world and to the role of John Betjeman, even now at the age of 80. All of us involved are working to magnify the voice of one of the greatest minds in England. Betjeman once said that ‘poetry is life’, and I agree. You can’t live without it.”

John Betjeman was the nation’s favourite poet. Sand in the Sandwiches celebrates a man famous not only for light verse and laughter, but for his passions, his sense of purpose and his unforgettable poetry. Through boyhood, his adolescence, to life as Britain’s Poet Laureate, Sand in the Sandwiches presents a hugely entertaining insight into the world of this much-loved irreverent writer.

Edward Fox’s distinguished career includes iconic British films such as the Oscar winning Ghandi, The Day of the Jackal, A Bridge Too Far, Oh! What a Lovely War, The Dresser, The Go-Between, A Doll’s House, Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood, Nicholas Nickleby, Force 10 from Navarone and James Bond’s Never Say Never Again.

His stage credits include The Audience, Four Quartets, Hamlet, An Evening with Anthony Trollope, Letter of Resignation and many more. His film credits have won him three BAFTA Awards and in 2003 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to stage and cinema.

Hugh Whitemore, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is an award-winning writer whose work spans stage and screen. His theatre credits include As you Desire Me, Stevie, Pack of Lies (which won Judi Dench the Olivier Award for Best Female Actor), The Best of Friends, Breaking the Code, God Only Knows, Disposing of the Body, The Last Cigarette playing at acclaimed theatres across the UK and internationally.

His films credits include Jane Eyre (1996), 84 Charing Cross Road, Stevie, The Return of the Soldier, Bluebird, Man at the Top and All Neat in Black Stockings. With over 70 television credits, Whitemore has written for broadcasters in both the UK and USA, winning two Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards and two Emmy Awards.

Director Gareth Armstrong specialises in solo performance and has helped to create a dozen such theatre pieces, including Hugh Whitemore’s My Darling Clemmie starring Rohan McCulloch as Winston Churchill’s wife, and his own dramatisation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, called Wilde Without the Boy.

As an Associate Artist at Salisbury Playhouse under the Directorship of Jonathan Church, he premiered his own one-man show, Shylock, which toured for over a decade to more than forty countries and has been translated and performed in Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian and Mandarin Chinese. Armstrong also co-founded The Made in Wales Theatre Company to premiere new plays and was Artistic Director of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre.

Produced by Jonathan Church, Oliver Mackwood Productions and Oxford Playhouse, Sand in the Sandwiches is designed by BAFTA award-winning Fotini Dimou, with lighting by double Olivier Award-winning Howard Harrison and sound by Olivier Award and Ivor Novello Award nominated composer Simon Slater.

Sand in the Sandwiches will visit Northampton before its London premiere and afterwards visit Cambridge, Malvern, Woking, Brighton and Bath.

NB: It has been made possible for Sand in the Sandwiches to play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from May 30 to June 3 because the producers took the decision to suspend the run of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? as one of its stars, Damien Lewis, is unavailable to perform that week due to a pre-contractual, prior engagement. The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? will recommence performances on June 5, 2017.

To book tickets for Sand in the Sandwiches, call the box office on 020 7930 8800 or visit www.trh.co.uk/.

The RSC’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing continue at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until March 18, 2017.