Follow Us on Twitter

La Bête to complete run as scheduled

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MATTHEW Warchus’ production of David Hirson’s La Bête will complete its run at the Comedy Theatre as scheduled on September 4, 2010. It will subsequently transfer to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, where it opens on October 14 (previews from September 23).

Previously Posted: Full casting has been announced for Matthew Warchus’ production of David Hirson’s La Bête, which runs at the Comedy Theatre from July 7 (previews from June 26) to September 4, 2010.

Joining Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley will be Stephen Ouimette (as Bejart), Lisa Joyce (Marquise-Therese Du Parc), Greta Lee (Dorine), Robert Lonsdale (Rene Du Parc), Michael Milligan (De Brie), Liza Sadovy (Catherine De Brie) and Sally Wingert (Madeleine Bejart).

Buy tickets

Previously Posted: Matthew Warchus will direct Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley in American playwright David Hirson’s ‘rollicking’ 1991 play, La Bête, which runs at the Comedy Theatre from July 7 (previews from June 26) to September 4, 2010. The production will then transfer to Broadway.

Described as a comic tour de force, La Bête is about Elomire (Pierce), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself.

When the fickle princess (Lumley) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.

Mark Rylance is currently starring in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre. For his performance as local waster and modern day Pied Piper, Johnny Byron, he has not only won Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Best Actor awards but also been nominated for an Olivier.

His other theatre roles include Hamm in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (Duchess Theatre); Robert in Boeing-Boeing (West End and Broadway), for which he won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play; and Benedict in Matthew Warchus’ Much Ado about Nothing (West End), for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Actor.

As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre his work as an actor included the title roles in Henry V and Hamlet as well as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra and Olivia in Twelfth Night. He has also worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre as well as at the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court Theatre.

His screen work includes The Other Boleyn Girl, Prospero’s Books and The Government Inspector for which he won a BAFTA Best Actor Award for his role as David Kelly.

Although he is best known as Dr Niles Crane in the multi award-winning American sitcom Frasier, David Hyde Pierce is no stranger to theatre having starred in the Broadway production of Curtains, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. He also originated the role of Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot.

And as well as creating roles in Off-Broadway and regional productions, he has appeared on stage in Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Holiday, Camille, The Seagull, Tartuffe, Cyrano, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Peter Brook’s production of The Cherry Orchard in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo. However, he will be making his West End debut in La Bête.

His film credits include Bright Lights, Big City, Crossing Delancey, Little Man Tate, Sleepless in Seattle, Wolf, Nixon, Isn’t She Great, Wet, Hot, American Summer, Full Frontal, Down With Love, A Bug’s Life and The Perfect Host.

Joanna Lumley is a familiar face on television with credits that include Absolutely Fabulous, The New Avengers, Sapphire and Steel, Jam and Jerusalem and Sensitive Skin. She has also appeared on screen in Shirley Valentine, Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse of the Pink Panther and, more recently, The Tale of Sweeney Todd, Mad Cows, Maybe Baby (as Mrs Lovett). She was also the voice of Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach.

Her theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard (as Madame Ranevsky), Noel and Gertie (as Gertrude Lawrence), Blithe Spirit (as Elvira), The Letter, Hedda Gabler (title role), The Cherry Orchard and Private Lives. She will be making her Broadway debut in La Bête.

Author of several best-selling books and a human rights and animal welfare activist, Lumley recently headed a successful campaign in recognition of the Gurkhas. In 1995, she was awarded an OBE.

Matthew Warchus‘ many award-winning theatre credits include The Norman Conquests, Boeing-Boeing, God of Carnage, Art and Follies, all of which he directed in the West End and on Broadway. And as well as numerous productions for the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Old Vic and the Donmar Warehouse, his credits include the musicals Tell Me on a Sunday, Our House and The Lord of the Rings, plus the forthcoming Matilda and Ghost.

As well as La Bête David Hirson also wrote Wrong Mountain. Both plays were produced on Broadway. For his work, he has received numerous honours, including the 1992 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy. And in 1991, the original Broadway production of La Bête was nominated for five Tony awards.

Produced in London and New York by Sonia Friedman Productions and Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Robert Bartner and Roy Furman, La Bête will be designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, music by Claire van Kampen and sound by Simon Baker. Further casting will be announced shortly.

Read our review