Seinfeld favourite to make his West End debut

Preview by Paul Nelson

MICHAEL Richards, who stars as Kramer in the television series Seinfeld, will make his West End stage debut starring as Jonathan Brewster in a revival of the comedy thriller Arsenic and Old Lace, which will open at the Strand Theatre on Tuesday, February 25, following previews from February 14. Stephen Tompkinson will star as Mortimer Brewster, Thelma Barlow as Abby and Marcia Warren as Martha.

American actor Michael Richards has won three Emmy Awards for his role in Seinfeld. His other television credits include Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues and Cheers. Stephen Tompkinson starred as Father Peter in Ballykissangel, and his theatre work includes Art at Wyndham's Theatre and Tartuffe at the Royal National Theatre.

Since leaving Coronation Street in 1997, Thelma Barlow who played Mavis Wilson, has starred in the Bristol Old Vic production of The Cherry Orchard, Alan Bennett's Enjoy, Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit and, most recently, Smoking With Lulu, all at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Marcia Warren won an Olivier Award for her role in Humble Boy. Her television appearances include Keeping Up Appearances, Dangerfield and No Place Like Home.

Arsenic and Old Lace, Joseph Kesselring's famous play, which enjoyed 1,437 performances in New York, first opened in London at the Strand Theatre in 1942 and was last seen on stage at the Whitehall in 1977. The 1944 film, starring Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, is a perennial favourite.

The play will be produced by Katharine Doré for KDM, whose previous productions include A Midsummer Night's Dream with Dawn French and Adventures in Motion Pictures' Swan Lake and The Car Man.

Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring, Directed by Matthew Francis, Designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis, Lighting by Mark Henderson, WITH Michael Richards, Thelma Barlow, Marcia Warren and Stephen Tomlinson. Produced by Katharine Dore for K.D.M at the Strand Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2 from February 25, Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3pm. Tickets 0870 901 3356.